Cultural heritage connects us with something bigger than ourselves—a sense of history, community, and a shared appreciation for humanity’s achievements.

The Defining Challenges of Heritage Preservation Today

 

Dear Friend,

Cultural heritage connects us with something bigger than ourselves—a sense of history, community, and a shared appreciation for humanity’s achievements. The power of preservation to make a difference in people’s lives is what has driven the work of World Monuments Fund (WMF) since our founding. On March 15, we celebrate 56 years with a renewed commitment to the survival of irreplaceable cultural sites and the communities who care for them.

The challenges are steep: historically marginalized groups are vastly underrepresented in today’s preservation landscape; climate change will continue to intensify and wreak havoc on our world and the places we treasure; and as travel resumes, crowds will reemerge to overwhelm some locations, but leaving others neglected.

But as a global community of doers, we can make a difference. With renewed vigor, WMF is addressing some of the defining challenges of our world today—underrepresented heritage, climate change, and imbalanced tourism. Building on our work across these three areas, we are launching a wide-ranging initiative to develop new models for heritage places in need. Central to this effort is the 2022 World Monuments Watch, which will emphasize sites with the potential to contribute local solutions to these global issues. The Watch nomination has been extended to May 1, 2021 to account for the various challenges presented by the pandemic.

Please join us in this movement to bring greater inclusivity, protections, and resilience to cultural heritage sites around the world. By doing so, you will ensure that these places continue to feed the soul of humanity and provide opportunities for the people who live around them.

With appreciation, 

 Benedicte full signature

Bénédicte de Montlaur
President and CEO

  

 

Looking to the Future: Global Challenges to Cultural Heritage Preservation

As we consider the events of this past year and our priorities for the future, it is clear that WMF must act as an agent of change.

In this article from WMF's 2021 Watch Magazine, Vice President of Programs Jonathan Bell takes stock of WMF's cumulative impact over the past five and a half decades and considers how best to enhance our efforts protecting and supporting the world’s most incredible cultural landscapes, architectural marvels, and places of shared significance.

 

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When Will We Return to Venice and Should We?

Heritage Now event

In 2020, COVID-19 brought tourism in Venice to a halt, damaging the city's economy while giving it a respite from the regular onslaught of visitors. The pandemic highlighted the precarity of the city’s position, highly dependent on a tourism economy that has adverse effects on its residents and built environment, as well as the existential threat presented by rising sea levels. 

On Thursday, March 25 at 12:00 pm (EST), join WMF President and CEO Bénédicte de Montlaur for an online discussion on the future of Venice and the monumental challenges the city faces. Bénédicte will be joined by guest speakers Jane da Mosto, environmental scientist and Founding President of We are here Venice (WahV); Tomás Saraceno, visual artist; and David Landau, scholar, curator, philanthropist, and author.

 

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