Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany has chosen to open all museums and archaeological sites for free on Thursday, April 18, to celebrate World Heritage Day.
A statement from the Antiquities Ministry on Saturday said that includes archaeological sites registered on the World Heritage List. The statement said this aims to draw the world’s attention towards endangered historical sites, especially those on the World Heritage site list.
In Egypt, six cultural sites are listed on the World Heritage List: Abu Mena, Ancient Thebes with its necropolis, historic Cairo, Memphis and its necropolis including the pyramid fields from Giza to Dashur, Nubian monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, the area centering on Saint Catherine’s Monastery, and Wadi al-Hitan (Valley of the Whales)
The World Heritage list includes 890 sites worldwide considered to have “outstanding universal value.”
UNESCO’s World Heritage Day, first launched in 1983, aims to raise public awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and draw attention to ancient sites around the world.
The idea of the celebrations is to give exposure to international efforts to preserve these sites, and increase awareness towards the importance of supporting them.