NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2013 / PRNewswire — At a press conference today, World Monuments Fund (WMF) President Bonnie Burnham announced the 2014 World Monuments Watch, presenting a diverse group of cultural heritage sites at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change. The 2014 Watch features 67 sites in 41 countries and territories, dating from prehistory to the twentieth century.
The 2014 list reflects a number of distinct preservation challenges, including conflict and catastrophe, lack of resources, development pressures (urban, rural, tourism), and loss of cultural traditions. The 2014 Watch serves as a call to action, bringing the fragility of the sites and the dangers they face to international attention. It also identifies opportunities for local communities to work together with the larger preservation community, government organizations, corporate sponsors, and others to help ensure their future. For some sites, inclusion on the Watch presents the best hope for their survival. Detailed descriptions of all 67 sites may be found in the press kit at www.wmf.org/watch.
World Monuments Watch
Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to threatened cultural heritage sites around the world. Watch-listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions.
The list is assembled by a panel of international heritage experts in the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, and preservation.
Since the program’s inception, more than 740 sites in 133 countries and territories have been included. The international attention given to Watch sites provides a vital tool with which local entities may leverage funding from a variety of sources, including municipal, regional, and national governments; foundations; corporate sponsors; international aid organizations; and private donors. Since 1996, WMF has contributed $54 million, while almost $200 million has been allocated to the sites by other entities. The social impact of the Watch is also significant, especially through Watch Day, a component of the program established in 2012 that aims to reconnect communities to their heritage through public events.