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World Monuments Fund Names 25 At-Risk Cultural Sites

The Old Ship A.M.E. Church, one of the Alabama Civil Rights Sites.

LAURA EWEN BLOKKER, COURTESY WMF

At a press conference at its offices in the Empire State Building today, the World Monuments Fund named 25 cultural heritage sites spanning 30 countries that it is placing on its 2018 World Monuments Watch list, meaning that they are currently threatened by conflict, climate change, or other dangers. 

The sites, which include storm-ravaged areas in the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico, and the Souk in Aleppo, Syria, which has been damaged in the country’s ongoing civil war, will be the focus of advocacy and preservation work by the WMF and partner organizations.

Also on the 2018 Watch, which is published every two years, are what the organization has termed Alabama Civil Rights Sites, little-known landmarks of the civil rights movement, like churches, homes, and other community spaces, in the state.

“Social importance has been embedded in the Watch, but I think the Alabama Civil Rights sites represent the first example of something that really is about a profound social movement,” Lisa Ackerman, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the WMF, said. “This is a historic opportunity for us to demonstrate that these sites are as significant as any of the sites that have been on the Watch in the past that might have been there more purely for their architectural significance.”

Sites that receive support from the WMF typically have architectural or cultural significance, while also often having symbolic value for their locations or groups associated with them. “If you let an anchor of the community go,” Ackerman said, “you risk so much more to the local residents.”

The full list of site follows below.

1. Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico
2. Government House, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
3. Sirius Building, Millers Point, Sydney, Australia
4. Ramal Talca-Constitución, Talca Province, Chile
5. Grand Theater, Prince Kung’s Mansion, Beijing, China
6. Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt
7. Takiyyat of al-Gulshani, Cairo, Egypt
8. Potager du Roi, Versailles, France
9. Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, India
10. Al-Hadba’ Minaret, Mosul, Iraq
11. Lifta, Jerusalem, Israel
12. Amatrice, Italy
13. Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
14. Jewish Quarter of Essaouira, Morocco
15. Sukur Cultural Landscape, Madagali Local Government Area, Nigeria
16. Historic Karachi, Pakistan
17. Cerro de Oro, Cañete Valley, Peru
18. Tebaida Leonesa, El Bierzo, León, Spain
19. Souk of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria
20. Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand
21. Blackpool Piers, Blackpool, United Kingdom
22. Buffalo Central Terminal, Buffalo, New York, United States
23. Alabama Civil Rights Sites, Alabama, United States
24. Old City of Ta’izz, Ta’izz, Yemen
25. Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape, Matobo, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe

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