Yesterday, World Monuments Fund (WMF) President and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Burnham announced the 2016 World Monuments Watch List. Established in 1996 and published every two years, the list brings to the fore diverse archaeological, architectural, and cultural sites at risk from an array of threats, ranging from forces of nature, development, climate change, natural decay and political upheaval. This year's list features 50 sites in 36 countries.
Some of those spotlighted include:
- The cultural heritage sites of Nepal, which are still recovering from the horrific 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25th of this year during which many of the Kathmandu Valley's historic monuments, buildings and temples were either destroyed or sustained extensive damage.
- Russia's Vyborg Historic Center, Havana's El Vedado, the city of Bucharest which is threatened by abandonment and demolition of historic buildings, uncontrolled development, and inappropriate rehabilitation, and Bo-Kapp, also known as the Malay Quarter, one of Cape Town, South Africa's oldest suburbs, along with other locations struggling to deal with inappropriate development and rehabilitation, abandonment, and neglect.
- Sites of Conscience such as Albania's SpaçPrison and Italy's World War II concentration camps, that have long been ignored because of their dark history.
This year's list also included the Unnamed Monument which acknowledges the deliberate damage and destruction of thousands of cultural heritage sites in areas of political and social instability. This monument "seeks to shift the focus to local populations who are losing their cultural heritage and history, and away from our own outrage, which plays to the propaganda of those who are perpetrating this damage."
Find the full 2016 World Monuments Watch List and more information at the World Monument Fund's website.
By Kirsten Hower
By Kirsten Hower