Albanian labor camp, Chilean cemetery among threatened sites
Oct. 15, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) — A labor camp in Albania, a burial site in Chile and a Spanish mission in New Mexico are among a list of cultural heritage sites threatened by neglect, overdevelopment or social, political and economic change, a preservation group announced Thursday.
The World Monuments Fund's biennial list cited 50 sites from ancient times to modern times in 36 countries.
The New York-based preservation group began issuing its World Monuments Watch list in 1996 to call attention to important landmarks threatened around the world in an effort to promote awareness and action.
The organization listed the notorious Spac Prison in Albania for its advanced state of deterioration — a site the group said deserved to be saved as a modern place of remembrance.
The General Cemetery of Santiago, a burial site of presidents and other luminaries, was singled out because of the deterioration it has suffered from numerous earthquakes and consequent neglect.
In citing the 1629 San Estevan Del Rey Mission, the organization said restoration of the national historic landmark in Acoma, New Mexico, was long overdue and in dire need of investment.
The list "includes many extraordinary places that deserve to be celebrated because they represent high moments of human culture. Worldwide concern would strengthen our ability to save them," fund President Bonnie Burnham said in a statement.
"We hope our endorsement will advance their goals to save each of these cherished places," she added.
Other endangered sites on the list include Pavlopetri, an ancient submerged city in southern Greece that the group said was threatened by pollution and the disturbance of large ships. The Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham, England, was cited as an Edwardian time capsule still in use but in danger of closing due to government cutbacks.
The organization also placed the "Unnamed Monument" on its 2016 watch list, a generic term for the thousands of cultural heritage sites in areas of political and social instability. "There are simply too many sites at risk to be included individually on the Watch, and no immediate hope for resolution," it said.
The list is assembled by a panel of experts in archaeology, architecture, art history and preservation.
This story has been corrected to show the organization's website is www.wmf.org , not www.wnf.org.