Fritz Lang's motion picture METROPOLIS (1927) © Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, Germany

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012

"Audiovisual heritage memory? the clock is ticking" is the slogan of this year's celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October).

Sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as they can be quickly and deliberately destroyed. Essentially emblematic of the 20th century, audiovisual heritage can be irretrievably lost as a result of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Public consciousness of the importance of preservation of these recordings must be engaged and the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is intended to be the platform for building global awareness.

UNESCO has adopted 27 October as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to better focus global attention on the issues at stake, in cooperation with the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) and other partners.

Given the urgency of rapid deterioration, we must accelerate the pace of our work -- to train professionals, to build institutional capacities and to formulate effective public policies.   

       Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General

© Ina / Michel Lioret
Appeal of 18 June 1940 - Disc


A growing number of archives around the world will be commemorating this Day with activities that highlight the fragility and vulnerability of this heritage, while celebrating the work of the heritage institutions that have helped to protect it.

Film, television and radio are our common heritage. They help to maintain the cultural identity of a people but countless documentary treasures have disappeared since the invention of image and sound technologies that permit the peoples of the world to better share their experiences, creativity and knowledge.

All of the world's audiovisual heritage is endangered. No where can it be said to be preserved but through initiatives such as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and the Memory of the World Programme, the precious work of preservation professionals is given impetus to manage a range of technical, political, social, financial and other factors that threaten the safeguard of heritage.

UNESCO encourages everyone, everywhere to join us in celebrating 27 October by showcasing their precious collections as part of a global endeavour to promote the value of audiovisual heritage.