Join the Smithsonian Institution and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a celebration of long-term, sustainable communities, and the efforts that are helping to preserve their cultural and natural heritage for future generations. Explore the beauty and value of World Heritage sites though the rich content available from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the treasures discovered in the collections of the Smithsonian.



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Hear what people around the world have to say about these important sites. Have you visited any, or would you like to? Add your voice to the conversation through the website or download the app from iTunes or Google Play.

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Education Resources

Building bridges of mutual respect and understanding of the diversity of the world’s cultural and natural heritage, the Smithsonian and UNESCO are working toward strengthening and enhancing education on sustainability and the universal value of cultural and natural heritage.

Education Resources


Smithsonian Collections Search Center

The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million; they represent our rich heritage, art from across the globe, and the immense diversity of the natural and cultural world.

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UNESCO World Heritage Convention 40th Anniversary

In 1972 UNESCO adopted the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, a unique international treaty linking - for the first time - the concepts of nature conservation and preservation of cultural properties, which recognizes the way people interact with nature and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two. The World Heritage Centre is the Secretariat of the Convention.

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