Travel: Why must we save these global treasures?
From Sudan to South Korea, Spain to India, visit some of the 50 endangered heritage sites across 36 countries that have been included in the just-released 2016 World Monuments Watch list
Gon-Nila-Phuk Cave Temples and Fort in Ladakh, India. This is a frame captured in 2014 from inside Cave No. 8, where significant areas of the sacred paintings have been lost. These temples, nestled between the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, contain Buddhist wall paintings of exquisite artistic and spiritual significance, but they are endangered by the menacing disintegration of the surrounding rock. All pictures courtesy/WORLD MONUMENTS FUND
Where: Chapultepec Park, Mexico City, Mexico
What: The oldest and largest urban park in Latin America is home to nine museums, a zoo, an amusement park and several recreational spaces. It receives nearly 15 million visitors each year and is an invaluable ecological oasis as well as cultural landmark.
Where: Church and Convent of San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador
what: The oldest and most significant religious site in Ecuador includes 13 cloisters, three churches, a plaza, over 3,500 words of religious art and a library holding thousands of books and historic documents.
Where: Brussels Palace of Justice, Belgium
What: The Brussels Palace of Justice was built on a massive scale, on a high plateau overlooking the historic centre of Brussels. This central portico with a pair of statues of Ulpian (left) and Cicero (right) by Belgian sculptor Antoine-Félix Bouré (1831-1883) makes for a stunning sight.
Where: Simwonjeong Pavilion, South Korea
What: Simwonjeong is a surviving example of a Korean won-lim, or forest-garden. This ideal was developed by Confucian scholars of the Joseon kingdom to reflect Korean thought.
What: Sabu-Jaddi Rock Art Sites, Nile Valley, Sudan
Why: Hundreds of rock drawings, stretching over an area of roughly three miles, showcase archaeological, artistic, and spiritual significance. This rock art depicts figures and scenes from pre-historic and modern times, and is a testimony to 6,000 years of human occupation.
Where: National Art Schools, Havana, Cuba
What: Created from the utopian ideals of the Cuban Revolution under Fidel Castro, this structure was meant to bring cultural literacy. After surviving decades of neglect, the sites are gaining recognition as modernist monuments, but a solid approach to the management of the site remains a necessity.
Where: Traditional architecture of Mauritius
What: The island nation’s distinctive architecture is a reflection of its colonial history that connected Europe with the East. The styles are a mix of Dutch, French and British influences from the 17th century. These, along with influences from India and East Africa, together offer a fascinating fusion of East and West.
Where: Petra Archaeological Site, Wadi Mousa, Jordan
What: A view of Siq al-Barid, a smaller archaeological site located to the north of Petra, 2009. Many of Petra’s most spectacular structures were carved into the red sandstone surroundings.
Where: Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa
What: Known for its architecture and pre-1850s structures, this area has a multi-ethnic vibe as it is made of people from South and Southeast Asia who were forcibly relocated to supply skilled labour for the expanding Cape Colony.
What: Convents of Seville, Spain
Why: View of the coffered ceiling of the lower choir in the Convent of San Jose, 2012. The dwindling monastic vocation poses a serious challenge to the future of Seville’s remaining cloistered convents. These display an array of architectural styles and influences, including Gothic and Mudéjar, Renaissance, Baroque, and other variants.
Information courtesy: World Monuments Fund
All pictures courtesy/WORLD MONUMENTS FUND