Published October 25, 2009
Ugandan, Tanzanian, Comorian and South African sites are among 93 sites included on the new Watch List of World Monuments Fund to draw attention of the public to their status.
A new list by World Monuments Fund has been recently announced by the organization’s president, Bonnie Burnham. The World Monuments Watch 2010 presents 93 endangered sites located across the globe in 47 countries. Among the threats to the places are present or potential neglect, vandalism, war, disaster or rapid urban development.
The aim of the 2010 Watch List is, according to its authors, to draw attention of wider public to the sites at risk, pointing out the importance of balance between heritage concerns and social, economic, and environmental interests of communities.
Issued every two years, the list is compiled by an international panel of experts that chose for the 2010 edition, for instance, the renowned Peruvian site, Machu Picchu, or Phajoding, a monastery high in the mountains of Bhutan.
Japanese traditional townhouses from the early 1600s called machiya in Kyoto are also on the list because of the imminent threat of being replaced by new constructions.
In Spanish Seville, a proposed commercial tower threatens to damage the iconic landscape of the city.
On the other hand, Gingerbread Houses of Port-au-Prince in Haiti suffers because of the unstable political situation and poverty. The list however does not include only ancient sites; there are for example, nine sites from the USA, including Taliesin and Taliesin West.
The World Monuments Watch is not just an academic activity as it has real results. Not only has it helped the sites to obtain the needed funds but also to prevent destruction of many of the world’s cultural heritage.
A Japanese port town of Tomo could lose its historic character because a landfill and a bridge planned to be built there. The listing of the town helped to draw attention to the site and as a result the Japanese courts cancelled the construction.
But it is unclear how most sites on the list are based in the USA. Africa, a whole continent, has just a handful sites: Wamala’s King’s Tombs, Nansana, Wakiso District, Uganda; Pangani Historic Town, Pangani, Tanzania; Ujumbe Palace, Mutsamudu, Anjouan, Comoros; Wonderwerk Cavega, Segonyana/Kuruman, South Africa; Old Mosque of Shali Fortress, Siwa Oasis, Egypt; New Gourna Village, Luxor, West Bank, Egypt; and Lixus, Larache, Morocco.
World Monuments Watch 2010
Al Hadba, Minaret in Mosul, Iraq; Machu Picchu, Peru; the historic landscapes of Seville and Toledo, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela; Taliesin, Taliesin West, and Taos Pueblo, USA.
Human activity at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa dates back some 2 million years.
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Most Recent Site:
The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, was commissioned in 1969 and finished in 1980.
Wiener Werkbundsiedlung, Vienna, Austria
Santorium Joseph Lemaire, Tombeek, Belgium
New Gourna Village, Luxor, Egypt
Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Corozal Cemetery, Panama City, Panama
Tecton Buildings at Dudley Zoological Gardens, Dudley, UK
Miami Marine Stadium, Miami, Florida, USA
Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Taliesin, Wisconsin, USA
Taliesin West, Arizona, USA
The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library, Georgia, USA
The Merritt Parkway, Connecticut, USA
Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas,Venezuela
Parque del Este, Caracas, Venezuela
Cultural Landscape of Hadley, Massachusetts
Miami Marine Stadium, Florida
Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana
St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, New Orleans, Louisiana
Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin
Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library, Georgia
The Merritt Parkway, Connecticut