Destination World Heritage

World Heritage is a world vision
Everyone is part of it

Caryatids in network

In 2022 the world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention – visit UNESCO’s website

People have always envisaged a better future for humanity, a world based on achievements and education – understanding and respecting heritage in its uniqueness, its outstanding universal value, at each locality. World Heritage was born to embody the values in this vision. Focusing on cultural and natural sites and monuments, it is a concept and institution that aims to identify and safeguard the heritage of humanity for the next generations. The mission of the UNESCO World Heritage Center is to actively protect and promote World Heritage, highlighting its universal value. Extending beyond physical monuments and sites, UNESCO aims to protect the Intangible Heritage as well, taking the concept of World Heritage even further.

The Acropolis of Athens, a unique monument of one of the most influential cultures in human history, was recognised as a World Heritage site in 1987. In acknowledgement of its gravity and symbolic presence throughout history, UNESCO has stated that the Acropolis can be seen as the symbol of World Heritage itself:

Illustrating the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece over a period of more than 1,000 years, the Acropolis, the site of four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art – the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erectheum and the Temple of Athena Nike – can be seen as symbolizing the idea of world heritage” – (UNESCO Ref.404, 2006 document)

It is precisely the beauty, depth and symbolism of the Athenian Acropolis which make its physical and conceptual restoration essential. In 2022 the world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The time has come for museums, institutions and educational establishments to shake hands and actively support the key values of World Heritage and set the foundations for a cultural landscape of mutual appreciation and respect. Considering the Acropolis of Athens as the symbol of World Heritage, there has never been a more appropriate time to reunite all of the Acropolis sculptures to celebrate a world vision through local heritage. It is precisely the outstanding universal value (OUV) of each site and monument on the globe which makes the world the definitive universal museum – and the Acropolis an iconic Greek, European, and World Heritage site created to inspire culture, freedom of speech, dialogue, and democracy.

Humanity is inspired, we need to make creative steps forward. World Heritage is a vision reflecting humanity’s evolution. As a citizen in a world of natural and cultural wonders, what does World Heritage mean to you? 

World Heritage explained – animated short about the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Source: Austrian Commission for UNESCO (ÖUK Österreichische UNESCO-Kommission).

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