Notre Dame among sites considered at-risk by World Monuments Fund

Notre Dame among sites considered at-risk by World Monuments Fund
Notre Dame. Courtesy Flickr Commons.
Leading lights

Every two years, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), based in New York City, announces sites around the world that are deemed to be at-risk. The purpose of the list is to raise awareness for sites that are ‘in need of urgent action that demonstrate the potential to trigger social change through conservation.’

The WMF’s 2020 World Monument Watch list names sites from more than 20 countries around the world and the sites range from 20th century architectural works to prehistoric monuments to sites of significant historical events. The WMF calls them ‘iconic monuments to sites of social justice, the 2020 World Monuments Watch includes 25 sites that marry great historical significance with contemporary social impact.’ According to the WMF, the sites they categorize as at-risk face a number of issues, including erosion and climate change.

Paris’ Notre-Dame, which was engulfed in flames earlier this year in April, is amongst the landmarks included on the latest edition of the list. Alongside it is Chile’s Rapa Nui National Park, also known as Easter Island, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, and the Bennerley Viaduct along the border of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in the UK. Lesser-known sites included on the 2020 list include San Antonio’s Woolworth building, the Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara, and the Gingerbread Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

Next year, MWF will work with a number of local organizations to tackle conservation planning efforts and advocate for the sites. Funds, of which $1 million has been presented by American Express and another $600,000 from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Ford Foundation, will then be allocated to each of the sites to promote their continued preservation and conservation.

‘The 2020 World Monuments Watch includes iconic treasures like Easter Island and socially significant sites like the San Antonio Woolworth Building, reminding us that cherished places are determined not just by their architectural value, but also by their impact on communities around the world,’ CEO of WMF said in a statement. ‘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.’

Chosen by an independent panel of experts from more than 250 nominations, these are all of the 2020 WMF at-risk 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