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50 Monument Sites Named ‘At Risk’

Thursday, October 29, 2015

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Nepal’s entire stock of cultural heritage sites; an ancient underwater city in Greece; and a modern engineering marvel in Russia are among the 50 monuments in 36 countries termed “at risk” by the World Monuments Fund.

All photos courtesy of World Monuments Fund

The cultural heritage sites in Nepal were devastated by the April 2015 earthquake. The earthquake's impact on heritage sites was extensive throughout the Kathmandu Valley, which is home to hundreds of sacred Buddhist and Hindu sites.

The New York City-based organization recently released its 2016 World Monuments Watch, which also includes two sites in the U.S.—the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Arizona and the San Esteban del Rey Mission in New Mexico.

Attention, Action Needed

For more than 50 years, the WMF has worked to preserve cultural heritage around the world, and calls the Watch its flagship advocacy program for directing international attention to threatened sites of historic and cultural significance.


San Esteban del Rey Mission church in the pueblo of Acoma, NM, was built in the first half of the 17th century.

The threats to these sites include conflict, development pressures, natural disasters, as well as a lack of resources.

“The 2016 Watch includes many extraordinary places that deserve to be celebrated because they represent high moments of human culture,” President Bonnie Burnham said in a statement.

Shukhov Tower

The Shukhov Tower in Russia is modern engineering masterpiece at risk of being dismantled, according to the World Monuments Fund.

“Worldwide concern would strengthen our ability to save them. Every two year Watch cycle expands our knowledge about the state of the built environment worldwide, and the current challenges facing the preservation field. WMF looks forward to working with the local experts, organizations, and government agencies who have nominated these sites.”

Some of the highlighted sites on the Watch list include:

About the List

The Watch was launched in 1996 and is issued every two years. 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, 790 sites in 135 countries have been included.


Tagged categories: Architectural history; Architecture; Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Historic Preservation; Latin America; Maintenance + Renovation; Modernist architecture; Monuments; North America; Preservation

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