By Ahmet Abdulaziz….
Prof. Dr. Şebnem Hoşkara of Eastern Mediterranean University recently published an article entitled “18th April, during the Corona Days – Remembering the International Day of Monuments and Sites.”
Prof. Dr. Hoşkara made the following statements in her article:
“During these days, when we have had to rethink and question many life related issues, we are at the same time trying to live life normally. Our habits, general behaviour, ongoing work, plans, are always with us. We all have mood changes from day to day. On the one hand, we continue to do things that motivate us or that we are obliged to do, and on the other hand, we question life. We think that we will live our lives before and after COVID-19; We now see more clearly that after COVID-19, nothing will be the same, “yesterday” is now “today” and “tomorrow” will never be “yesterday” again. It is during days like this that it suddenly comes to your mind: April 18th – International Monuments and Sites Day. Across the world every year the International Council of Monuments and Sites – ICOMOS organisation leads the celebrations on 18th April, to raise awareness regarding the protection of cultural heritage and contribute to the creation/increase of public awareness.
Starting in 2011 for the first time in Northern Cyprus, every year in partnership with EMU KENT-AG, the EMU Cyprus Research Center, (EMU-KAM) and/or in partnership with the Faculty of Architecture; for 9 years without interruption and using different methods, we have been celebrating this day with awareness raising panels, exhibitions, interviews, and trips oriented for primary, secondary and high school students. And now we want to celebrate the tenth April 18th today, but not actively!
Saturday, April 18, 2020. We are all at home, except for those friends who are compulsory workers. We stay at home to stay healthy. We are focused on other issues. None of us think of cultural heritage, monuments, sites, protection. However, monuments, archaeological sites, historical urban landscaping areas located in various parts of the world etc. are our shared cultures, shared heritage and shared responsibility.
Like living organisms, our cities, living environments and historical urban-cultural heritage are breathing, walking, developing and even sometimes fall ill; we must, for the future of our societies, ensure sustainable development processes, harmony of our urban-spatial quality and economic welfare and social life. In today’s extraordinary environment, it is our responsibility to live without forgetting to be individuals that respect the natural and built environment, cultural assets, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, as well as human health.