New York, NY (PRWEB) June 18, 2014
In recognition of its 50th Anniversary and defining a vision for the future, Bonnie Burnham, President of World Monuments Fund (WMF), announced today the launch of a multi-year campaign to restore five major cultural heritage sites around the world. The organization is calling attention to the growing challenge of preserving the world’s important architectural and cultural heritage sites due to pressing global issues such as war and conflict, climate change, urban development, and neglect.
Founded in response to the engineering challenges faced by the Leaning Tower of Pisa almost a half-century ago and extended to projects in over 100 countries, WMF is internationally acclaimed for its technical expertise, rapid response during emergency, and ability to collaborate with local communities to aid economic development. Ms. Burnham has led efforts to identify key sites that will become the cornerstone of WMF’s work for the next five years. Of these, five 50th Anniversary priority projects have been chosen as outstanding examples of architectural achievement that embody the rich heritage of their countries. Like all of WMF’s projects, the cultural sites chosen for restoration also serve as prime opportunities for local economic growth though job creation, skills training, and tourism.
“Every monument is enormously important to local economies, cultures, and communities,” said Ms. Burnham. “Our 50th Anniversary provides the opportunity to reflect on our past work while articulating a powerful vision for an even more engaged future role in preserving some of the world’s greatest treasures threatened by neglect, development, human strife, and natural forces.”
Embodying the depth and breadth of WMF’s global scope, the 50th Anniversary priority sites, which require continuing donor support, include:
“Throughout my countless journeys all over the world, I have always admired the conservation of historic moments. Heritage preservation can be a tremendous engine of economic development as the restoration of a historic building can be the catalyst for the recovery of the surrounding communities,” said Mario Testino, world-renowned photographer, who recently became President of the Board of WMF Peru. "It is exciting to explore possibilities for the future of Quinta de Presa in Lima as my first project as President of the Board of the WMF Peru, as it was on the spotlight list of the late Marcela Pérez de Cuéllar, the founding leader of WMF’s presence in Peru.”
WMF 50th Anniversary Activities
A WMF 50th Anniversary commemorative book, to be published by Rizzoli in 2015, will explore some of the most compelling and pressing issues affecting global cultural heritage today, including the impacts of conflict, climate change, urban development, and the loss of traditions. The book will highlight key WMF project sites and include essays by renowned writers such as André Aciman, Anne Applebaum, William Dalrymple, Justin Davidson, John Julius Norwich, and Andrew Solomon. The imagery will be curated by the International Center of Photography.
The WMF 50th Anniversary also includes a global travel program that recognizes milestones in WMF’s work at major cultural heritage projects around the world, starting with a trip to the United Kingdom and celebratory event at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire in June 2014. Other trips include visits to the Qianlong Garden in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China; Annibale Carracci’s ceiling frescoes in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Italy; the Chancellerie d’Orléans in Paris, France; and the temple of Phnom Bakheng at Angkor, Cambodia.
Other WMF 50th Anniversary highlights include the 2015 Hadrian Gala in New York City, as well as lectures and events featuring some of the world’s most respected architects, thinkers, and authors.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will serve as the Honorary Chairman of WMF’s 50th Anniversary.
For more information on WMF’s 50th Anniversary and related projects, please visit wmf50.org.
About World Monuments Fund
From America’s Route 66 to China’s Forbidden City, World Monuments Fund’s mission is to protect against the loss of the world’s architectural heritage, including the built environment, the artistic elements that enhance it, and the cultural traditions that it sustains. WMF builds global partnerships to conserve key cultural sites in response to urgent threats and broadens public understanding about the central importance of heritage in our lives. Its work makes historic places accessible and sustainable, builds and replenishes skills needed to care for our common heritage, and communicates the benefits to the global public.
In honor of its 50th Anniversary, WMF is launching a multi-year campaign of priority projects as well as lectures, events, publications, exhibitions, and donor travel programs. Headquartered in the iconic Empire State Building in New York City, WMF has offices and affiliates worldwide.
More on WMF: wmf.org, wmf50.org, twitter.com/worldmonuments, facebook.com/worldmonuments
Ben Haley, World Monuments Fund: 646-424-9594 (ext. 582), bhaley(at)wmf(dot)org
Patricia Steele, Phil & Co.: 646-490-6446, patricia(at)philandcompany