Venice in Italy and a little-known Pokfulam Village in Hong Kong have one thing in common. Both are included in list of culturaal heritage sites at risk by World Monuments Fund (WMF). List also has places like 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), all for diverse reasons including conflict and neglect. India has three of its sites included in the list, they are – Historic city of Bidar in Karnataka, Juna Mahal at Dungarpur in Rajasthan and house of Sufi saint Salim Chishti at Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
World Monuments Fund (WMF) 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.
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.