Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities
The Organization of the World Heritage Cities was created on September 8, 1993, in Fez (Marocco). In commemoration of this big event, September 8 was declared “Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities” and all these cities are welcomed to commemorate it every year.
The OWHC urges the administration of each member city to take advantage of this day to stress the important responsibility of the city to protect as well as promote the world heritage and especially the privilege of having a part of that heritage in their city.
On September 8, 2011, the World Heritage Cities proud of this title will celebrate the 16th Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities. At this occasion, member cities of the OWHC from all around the world will underline their outstanding universal value by organizing different activities that aim at highlighting their uniqueness. We encourage you to be part of them!
On September 8th, 2010, was celebrated around the world the 15th Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities. Among the OWHC member cities that have commemorated the event, let’s mention the following cities:
- Bamberg, Germany
- Cusco, Peru
- Kashusha, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Nessebar, Bulgaria
- Oaxaca, Mexico
- Puebla, Mexico
- Québec, Canada
- Ubeda, Spain
- Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania
First of all, the city of Bamberg, Germany, commemorated the Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities by collecting donations for the restoration of Pakistani World Heritage sites that have been devastated following the terrible flood of last summer. The mayor of Bamberg, Mr. Andreas Starke, and the World Heritage site Manager of the city, Mrs. Dr. Karin Dengler-Schreiber, collected donations. To download the summary of this activity of September 8th, click here.
Next, the city of Québec, Canada, celebrated Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities by organizing many activities. To download the press communiqué concerning all the event of September 8, click here (only in French).
In the first place, a conference given by geographer Henri Dorion as well as historian and photographer Pierre Lahoud was held at theMusée de l'Amérique française, one of the most beautiful heritage sites of the city of Québec. The picture below illustrates this conference in which the two professors compared the city of Québec to other cities that are on the World Heritage List, by pointing out their identity and common challenges.
On the other hand, the event Archives à voix haute (Archives read aloud) was held at the Artillery Park, right in the middle of the historic centre of Québec. This event involved performers of the city who read selected excerpts from archives that allowed spectators to guess, sense and see the city through the eyes of the people who lived in other times.
Furthermore, the city of Nessebar, Bulgaria, marked Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities by launching its restoration project of the church of St. John the Baptist, one of the iconic churches of the city's cultural heritage. Heritage specialists, municipal representatives, as well as members of the local community and of the media attended this event at the Nessebar Ancient Museum. The mayor of Nessebar, Mr. Nikolai Dimitrov, participated in the event with the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education and International Collaboration, Ms. Eli Kirilova. To download the communiqué of the city of Nessebar concerning Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities, click here.
In addition, the Mexican cities of Puebla and Oaxaca contributed to celebrate Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities within the scope of theIII Encuentro Iberoamerícano de Patrimonitos that was held on September 8, 2010, in Oaxaca, Mexico. The mayor of Puebla, Ms. Blanca Alcalá Ruiz, participated in the event as a representative of the OWHC. To download the communiqué of the city of Oaxaca concerning Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities, click here (only in Spanish).
Finally, the city of Zanzibar, Tanzania, celebrated Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities by doing a clean-up of its beaches.
Founded in 1995, the Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities is an outstanding opportunity to put the heritage issues to the agenda and to express their solidarity with other World Heritage Cities.
Congratulations to all cities that have celebrated the event!