27-11-2019

2020 World Monuments Watch, a list of at-risk monuments

Monument,

Recovery/Restoration, Refurbishment, Heritage, Retraining,

World Monuments Fund (WMF) today announced the 2020 World Monuments Watch, a biennial selection of at-risk cultural heritage sites that combine great historical significance with contemporary social impact.



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2020 World Monuments Watch, a list of at-risk monuments Preserving our cultural heritage for future generations has been the overriding mission of World Monuments Fund, a private non-profit organization founded in 1965 by individuals concerned about the accelerating destruction of important artistic treasures throughout the world. Now celebrating 50 years, World Monuments Fund has orchestrated over 600 projects in 90 countries and sponsors an ongoing program for the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide. The World Monuments Watch, a global programme launched in 1995 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of World Monuments Fund, aims to identify imperilled cultural heritage sites and to direct financial and technical support for their preservation.
So, every two years, communities, individuals, and other entities nominate heritage sites in need of urgent action that demonstrate the potential to trigger social change through conservation. The 2020 Watch received more than 250 nominations, and an independent panel of heritage experts was responsible for the final selection of 25 sites.
The list’s 25 sites are facing daunting threats such as encroaching urbanization, political turmoil, natural disaster, and violent conflicts, or present compelling conservation opportunities. The 2020 Watch includes Bears Ears National Monument (United States), sacred land and sites of North American indigenous people that have been put at risk of desecration; Sacred Valley of the Incas (Peru), a rich cultural landscape near Machu Picchu being threatened by a proposed airport construction; Notre-Dame de Paris (France), a beloved cathedral and global icon nearly lost during a fire that reminds us of the depth of human connection to heritage places and the personal trauma that their destruction can bring; the San Antonio Woolworth Building (United States), a landmark of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in Texas, at risk of being lost in a redevelopment plan; Mam Rashan Shrine (Iraq), a Yazidi shrine destroyed in a genocidal campaign whose reconstruction can establish mutual respect and recognition for a minority community; and Rapa Nui National Park (Chile), the iconic site popularly known as “Easter Island,” whose indigenous community seeks control and new solutions to halt the loss of culturally significant rock carvings. In total, the 25 sites span 21 countries and date from prehistory to the twentieth century.
In the words of Bénédicte de Montlaur, CEO, World Monuments Fund, “These remarkable sites demand sustainable, community-led solutions that bring people together and fuse conservation with social change. We are excited for the World Monuments Watch to kick start that impact.”
World Monuments Fund will now partner with local stakeholders of each heritage site to design and implement targeted activities that will ultimately improve the resilience of communities, enhance social inclusion, and build new capacities in the heritage conservation field and beyond. This will, in turn, save our cultural heritage so that these sites can continue to tell their story - and the story of humankind - to future generations. 
 
Christiane Bürklein

Full list of the 2020 World Monuments Watch sites:
Koutammakou, Land of the Batammariba, Benin and Togo
Ontario Place, Canada
Rapa Nui National Park, Chile
Alexan Palace, Egypt
Notre-Dame de Paris, France
Tusheti National Park, Georgia
Gingerbread Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Historic Water Systems of the Deccan Plateau, India
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, India
Mam Rashan Shrine, Iraq
Inari-yu Bathhouse, Japan
Iwamatsu District, Japan
Canal Nacional, Mexico
Choijin Lama Temple, Mongolia
Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses, Myanmar
Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Anarkali Bazaar, Pakistan
Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru
Kindler Chapel, Pabianice Evangelical Cemetery, Poland
Courtyard Houses of Axerquía, Spain
Bennerley Viaduct, United Kingdom
Bears Ears National Monument, USA
Central Aguirre Historic District, USA
San Antonio Woolworth Building, USA
Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
 
Images: courtesy of World Monuments Fund, see captions.
Find out more: https://www.wmf.org/

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