Following Destructive Fire, Notre-Dame Cathedral Labeled ‘At-Risk’ by World Monuments Fund

The Notre-Dame cathedral ablaze this past April.


Earlier this year, the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris caught fire, causing widespread destruction at one of France’s most important cultural sites. The cathedral will reportedly take years to repair, and the World Monuments Fund has now placed it on a list of 25 “at-risk” sites that are in need of financial support.

These sites, which appear on a biennially selected list known as the World Monuments Watch, will receive a total of $1 million from American Express for conservation initiatives. (Funding this year also came from a foundation run by ARTnews Top 200 collector Stavros Niarchos, whose organization supplied a challenge grant.) The sites listed are located in over 20 countries, and their significance spans time from the prehistoric era through to the twentieth century. Over 25 sites were nominated, and the final picks were chosen by an independent panel of heritage experts.

Alongside Notre-Dame appear the Rapa Nui National Park in Chile, commonly referred to as Easter Island, as well as the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, which is threatened by a proposal for the construction of an airport. There are less widely known monuments, too, and among them are the host of one of the first desegregated lunch counters in the American South, the Woolworth Building in San Antonio, Texas (which faces a redevelopment plan), and Iraq’s Mam Rashan Shrine, a Yazidi cultural site that was destroyed by the Islamic State.

Bénédicte de Montlaur, the CEO of the World Monuments Fund, said in a statement, “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. These remarkable sites demand sustainable, community-led solutions that bring people together and fuse conservation with social change.”

View the full list of “at-risk” monuments below.

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

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