Sites span the globe from Tanzania to Mexico
August 26, 2014. Today, American Express and World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced $1.5 million in grant funding to support preservation efforts at nine historic sites. This is the second allocation from a $5 million, five-year grant to WMF from American Express to support the World Monuments Watch. Each of the nine locations was among the at-risk historic sites included on the 2014 Watch, announced in October 2013. American Express is founding sponsor of the Watch program.
Projects receiving funding are Pokfulam Village in Hong Kong (SAR), China; the churches of Saint Merri and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Paris, France; the Farnese Aviaries in Rome, Italy; Tenyuji Temple, Ogatsu, Japan; Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico; the Güell Pavilions in Barcelona, Spain; the House of Wonders in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania; Battersea Power Station in London, United Kingdom; and Sulgrave Manor in Sulgrave, United Kingdom.
“The longstanding support of American Express to the World Monuments Watch has resulted in preservation work at more than 150 sites in over 60 countries,” said WMF President Bonnie Burnham. “The sites on the 2014 Watch that will receive support are extraordinary places whose preservation will benefit both local populations and visitors from around the world.”
“American Express remains committed to preserving and sustaining endangered treasures around the globe through the World Monuments Watch,” said Timothy McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “These historic places are tied to their nation’s identity and our grant funding will help ensure our world’s incredibly rich history can be experienced by future generations.”
Historic sites selected to receive grant funding include:
The American Express award will support the restoration of a nineteenth-century stone house that will serve as a model conservation project for the village and become a visitor and community history center.
The American Express award will support diagnostic structural reports, as well as restoration work on nineteenth-century paintings, in both churches.
The American Express award will support a comprehensive conservation treatment of the entire structure with the intent to open the building to the public at the conclusion of the work. It will be the final phase of an overall vision to interpret the remains of the Renaissance-era Farnese Gardens, including the Casina Farnese, the aviaries, and the nymphaeum.
The American Express award will support the restoration of the main hall of the building, an act that will serve as an inspiration and a powerful symbol of possibility for other rebuilding communities in the region.
The American Express award will support an awareness-raising campaign designed to create a sustainable level of support to maintain the park’s central place in the community of Monterrey. Many of the buildings face conservation problems, so increasing awareness and visitor numbers will assist in raising revenues to support preservation activities.
The American Express award will support the restoration of the buildings and garden, now owned by the University of Barcelona, and make them more accessible to the general public. The gatekeeper’s house will be turned into a visitor center to promote this and other less-known Gaudí works in Barcelona.
The American Express award will support a survey and report on the structural integrity of the building in order to prepare it for restoration work.
The American Express award will support awareness-raising public programs.
The American Express award will assist with thatching historic buildings on the property to return them to an improved state of conservation and make them more accessible for use as an integrated part of the experience of visiting Sulgrave Manor.
World Monuments Watch
Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to threatened cultural heritage sites around the world. Watch listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions. The process also serves as a vehicle for requesting World Monuments Fund assistance for select projects.
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World Monuments Fund
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 heritage, and communicates the benefits of this work to the global public.