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World Monument Fund - Watch list 2010

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WORLD MONUMENTS FUND

2010 World Monuments Fund Watch

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World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world's most treasured places.

For over 40 years, working in more than 90 countries, our highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders, and governments, we inspire an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York, we have offices and affiliates worldwide.

We work at sites that span the entire history of human civilization, from the earliest known cultures to the recent past. Our five core program areas - Cultural Legacy, Capacity Building, Advocacy, Education and Training, and Disaster Recovery - encompass all of our fieldwork and serve the broader interests of the preservation field today.

World Monuments Fund has a long history of protecting monuments that symbolize a cultural era or express a particular period of artistic expression, such as the Taj Mahal or the Qianlong Garden in Beijing's fabled Forbidden City. These are sites of universally recognized importance, where we raise funds, bring together support, and follow through on long-term, sustainable preservation.

World Monuments Fund focuses on more than just the physical aspects of restoration; we help local communities build the governmental, financial, and technical infrastructures to preserve and sustain their heritage. One of our most successful capacity-building programs is at the vast temple complex of Angkor in Cambodia, where we have been working for almost 20 years.

Through our advocacy programs, World Monuments Fund speaks out in support of architectural and cultural heritage around the globe. Our signature advocacy tool is the World Monuments Watch, a list of endangered sites issued every other year. Launched in 1996, the World Monuments Watch is a powerful call to global action on behalf of sites needing immediate help. Hundreds of Watch sites have been saved or are now out of danger.

World Monuments Fund takes a multilayered approach to education. We promote the exchange of information among professionals, educate the public, and train craftspeople in both lost arts and modern standards. Through site interpretation, international symposia, and field schools such as the ones we held in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we ensure that heritage preservation remains a vibrant field.

While we cannot plan in advance for damage wrought by natural or man-made disasters, we are nonetheless ready to step in whenever and wherever we can, providing rapid-response missions of experts, damage assessments, and assistance in conservation planning and implementation. This is just as important today in Iraq as it was when we worked in the wake of the Venice flood more than 40 years ago.

Working collaboratively, bridging national boundaries, World Monuments Fund leads preservation today, sharing our knowledge and inspiring future generations. www.wmf.org

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