The theme chosen this year, World Heritage, coincides with the 40th anniversary celebration of the World Heritage Convention (WHC). With 188 States Parties, the WHC is the most ratified international treaty for cultural and natural heritage preservation in the world. The World Heritage List currently includes 936 properties located in 153 States Parties, which comprise 725 cultural sites, 183 natural sites and 28 mixed sites. Activities this year will focus on sustainable development and the role of local communities.
The aim of the International Day for Monuments and Sites is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to understand the importance of cultural heritage in relation to their lives, identities and communities. It also aims at fostering awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve our cultural heritage.
At national level, activities kick off on 14 and 15 April 2012 with the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund offering guided tours of indenture sites, film shows on indenture and pedagogical activities for children. Mauritian citizens will get free access from 14 to 22 April 2012 to the following places of interest: Folk Museum, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka; the Natural History Museum, Port Louis; the National History Museum, Mahebourg; the Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum, Souillac; the Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Memorial Museum, Rivière des Anguilles; and the Frederick Hendrik Museum, Old Grand Port.
Access to the Postal Museum in Port Louis will be free for Mauritians on 14, 15, 21 and 22 April 2012. Furthermore, an Open day at the State House, Le Réduit is scheduled on 15 April 2012.
A photo exhibition of 100 World Heritage Sites including the Aapravasi Ghat and Le Morne Cultural Landscape, will be open to the public from 18 to 29 April at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Art Gallery of the Municipality of Quatre Bornes. To mark the International Day for Monuments and Sites, a sculpture by a Malaysian artist, Mr. Zul Bin Idris, will be unveiled on 19 April 2012 at the International Slave Route Monument, Le Morne.
Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund, for its part, will organise heritage trails around Le Morne Brabant Mountain and its Cultural Landscape, namely Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund office, Pointe Sud Ouest, Slave Route Monument and Trou Chenille, on 21 and 22 April 2012.