The five-day general assembly of the global heritage body ICOMOS, hosted in the national capital this year, will begin tomorrow, at the end of which a Delhi Declaration is to be passed. International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a prestigious global non-government organisation which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage world over.
“This year, the 19th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium is taking place in Delhi on the invitation of ICOMOS India from December 11-15. The theme for
the symposium is ‘Heritage and Democracy’. “Among other events, the symposium will explore the possibilities for cultural heritage in a world of multiple stakeholders, recognising the challenges of cultural diversity, and resulting contestation amidst local and global communities,” a senior official of ICOMOS India said. He said members of the ICOMOS International Board and several other representatives from ICOMOS offices in other parts of the country have already arrived on December 8 and took part in pre-Assembly events. “On Friday they visited the Red Fort and Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Yesterday they toured the Qutub Minar,” he added.
The events will be spread over three main venues – India International Centre (IIC), India Habitat Centre (IHC) and Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. As part the grand event, an exhibition has also been curated on the subject of ‘cultural heritage practice in India: protection, conservation and integration’. The exhibition is supported by the Urban Affairs Ministry, Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India.
ICOMOS is a network of experts that benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members, among which are architects, historians, archaeologists, art historians, geographers, anthropologists, engineers and town planners. The members of ICOMOS contribute to improving the preservation of heritage, the standards and the techniques for each type of cultural heritage property: buildings, historic cities, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites.
Its work is based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter). “There will be resolutions passed at the end of the event, and there will also be a Delhi Declaration. It is a matter of great pride that India is hosting the General Assembly of this global heritage body,” the senior ICOMOS India official said.