The nonprofit also plans to fund projects that address climate change.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage, has announced its lineup of projects for 2024. This year's efforts include responding to last year's devastating earthquake in Turkey and repairing damage in Ukraine, where the country is at war with Russia.
In addition to new projects in response to the global crisis, WMF announced the creation of a new Climate Legacy Initiative, which will earmark $15 million to direct funding to projects specifically addressing climate change. These include restoring historic water intake systems in India, increasing access to reliable water in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley, and rehabilitating traditional dams and reservoirs in the Peruvian Andes.
“Multiple nominations for World Monuments Watch 2022 are a result of climate change, from increased coastal flooding and storm surges that destroy heritage sites to the breakdown of millennia-old water infrastructure due to changing rainfall patterns. “We have highlighted the worsening impact of the pandemic,” said Benedict de Monroe, President and CEO of WMF. said in a statement to Artnet News.
Mr. de Monro called climate change one of the major threats to cultural heritage and stressed “the need to integrate cultural heritage and cultural rights into climate change preparedness and response.”
The $15 million in funding, up from last year's $10 million budget, will be invested over the next five years and represents about 25 percent of the nonprofit's annual project budget, de Montroll said. said it is the largest of its kind in the program field. “We intend to raise additional funding in the coming years to further strengthen our response to the urgent challenge that climate change represents,” she said.
The 7.7 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 60,000 people in Turkey and Syria, Antakya-based architect Buse Ceren Gül, who works on WMF's reconstruction efforts, said in an email to Artnet News “There is nothing left” in the city of Antakya, he said. .
WMF has identified two buildings in Antakya, historically known as Antioch: the Antioch Greek Orthodox Church (also known as St. Paul's Church) and the Antioch Synagogue. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation have supported WMF's restoration efforts.
In Ukraine, which was invaded by Russian forces almost two years ago, WMF is building a landmark glass dome called the “Teacher's House”, which was used as the first parliament building of the Republic of Ukraine during the war against Ukraine in 1917. announced that it would be restored. War of Independence. Eventually, most of the fledgling Republic of Ukraine was absorbed into the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.
In October 2022, Russian troops targeted a nearby intersection and sent out a shock wave that caused the glass dome to collapse. WMF and its partners have already installed protective covers to protect against water damage, and will once again replace the glass with support from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
WMF also announced aid for Bears Ears National Monument, a potentially controversial political move in the United States. The land was designated by President Barack Obama, along with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to the chagrin of conservatives who opposed the use of the land for mining, drilling, and grazing due to its economic benefits. Designated as a national monument. President Donald Trump then drastically reduced the monument's size, and legal challenges ensued.
“The areas that make up Bears National Monument have long been sacred sites to several tribes in the area,” the nonprofit said in a news release. “WMF supports efforts led by Indigenous communities and public land managers to improve site management and enhance the visitor experience through respectful visitation and lessons about the importance of this rich living landscape. I will.”
However, a WMF spokesperson emphasized that this year's flagship project was based in the Potager du Roi garden at the Palace of Versailles in France. The nonprofit organization commissioned a landscape analysis of historic garden management in the face of climate change and created a “global hub for establishing and disseminating best practices for climate adaptation in historic gardens, developed at the Center The developed model will be applied and tested in affiliated gardens around the world. “
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