The World's 50 Most Endangered Cultural Sites
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) today announced its 2016 Monuments Watch list, a biennial designation that identifies the world’s most vulnerable heritage sites to generate awareness and prompt preservation.
“The 2016 Watch includes many extraordinary places that deserve to be celebrated because they represent high moments of human culture,” said WMF president Bonnie Burnham. “Worldwide concern would strengthen our ability to save them.”
This year's roster features 50 structures in 36 countries—from Albania to Zimbabwe—and encompasses a wide variety of types—from an Edwardian bathhouse to a submerged city. While many of the at-risk monuments are ancient, the lineup spotlights neglected modernist structures including the National Arts Schools in Cuba, and Lina Bo Bardi’s Ladeira da Misericórdia in Brazil. The WMF also focused on Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated many of the country's cultural treasures this April.
A special addition to the 2016 list is the “Unnamed Monument” to recognize the innumerable cultural sites in danger of destruction due to political upheaval and war. This designation, according to the WMF, aims to “shift the focus to local populations who are losing their cultural heritage and history, and away from our own outrage, which plays to the propaganda of those who are perpetrating this damage.”
Over the course of its two-decade history, the WMF has pinpointed 790 at-risk sites. You can explore the complete list here.