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25 Oct 2013

WMF list identifies 67 heritage sites ‘at risk of destruction' in 2014

Venice, Italy and the entire country of Syria are among the cultural heritage sites at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change.

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) have announced the 2014 World Monuments Watch, which features 67 sites in 41 countries and territories dating from prehistory to the twentieth century.

It includes both the famous (Venice, Italy) and the little-known (Pokfulam Village, Hong Kong (SAR), China); the urban (Yangon Historic Center, Myanmar) and the remote (Gran Pajatén, in Peru); the ancient (Ancient Irrigated Terraces of Battir, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories) and the modern (the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, in St. Louis, Missouri).

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 New York-based group has issued its watch list every two years since its launch in 1996.

The list was assembled by a panel of experts in archeology, architecture, art history and preservation.

The WMF has outlined opportunities for local communities to work together with the larger preservation community, government organizations and corporate sponsors to help ensure their future.

WMF president Bonnie Burnham said: “ These sites—and countless others like them—recount our human history and highlight our achievements.

“It takes vigilance to keep them active in the world; yet it is often the case that the very places that provide rich character and texture to our lives need more assistance and attention than they are given.”

Since 1996, WMF has contributed US$90m (€65m, £55.5m); while US$200m (€145m ,£123m) has been allocated by other entities.

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