All Blog Posts

A view of the crowd at the inaugural ceremony
I hadn’t expected to find 3,000 people lining the hillside. By the time I arrived, I had to push my way through the chanting throng to get to the front. The crowd was there to celebrate the completion of preservation work at the church of Beta Gabriel Rafael, one of eleven rock-hewn churches in the Ethiopian city of Lalibela.
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Students from Columbia University and Addis Ababa University participated in the field school
The heavens opened and the rain poured down, breaking the drought that had threatened famine in the region. It was the first day of the Lalibela Field School, and the start of a rewarding and memorable experience for myself and the participating students.
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Doctor Sarmast receiving the Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, July 2, 2016
The Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize, awarded by UNESCO, recognizes individuals who work to protect cultural heritage in challenging circumstances. The 2016 prize was awarded on July 2. Bonnie Burnham, Senior Advisor to WMF, served on the jury.
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Blog post | August 02, 2016

The Loss of Averly

Averly foundry has ceased to exist. Or at least it does not exist anymore as it used to. During the last weeks of July 2016, most of Averly Foundy—a site that was unanimously considered the best preserved and most important historic foundry in southern Europe—was demolished.
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Blog post | August 01, 2016

La Pérdida de Averly

Averly ha dejado de existir. Al menos como ha existido hasta ahora. Durante los últimos días de julio de este año, la fundición histórica –considerada unánimemente por los expertos como la más importante y mejor conservada del sur de Europa– fue demolida.
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When I started to work with WMF in 2007, it was not easy, as I was the new member, but I tried hard to understand everything. Nowadays I work closely with all my colleagues in the office and at the site in Angkor. I respect them all very much for their hard work in the sun every day. I am neither an architect nor an engineer, but I am happy to stand behind my colleagues and support them in the conservation of our heritage in Angkor.
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Blog post | July 04, 2016

An Endangered Community Pool

Moseley Road Baths, located in central Birmingham in an area called Balsall Heath, first opened in 1907. The Victorian building reflects outstanding architectural and social significance, yet its future is not guaranteed—it is scheduled to close in May 2017.
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On April 16, 2016, a series of earthquakes struck Kumamoto and its neighboring communities. Almost all buildings either partially collapsed or were totally destroyed. There were many houses that were crushed and only the upper floors were left on the ground. This reminded me of the scene I saw in the Tohoku region after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
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Blog post | June 20, 2016

A Local Landmark: TWA Flight Center

Eero Saarinen’s Flight Center opened as the main terminal for Trans World American Airlines in 1962
The TWA Flight Center reflects the innovative and pioneering design and architecture that emerged in the mid-twentieth century, influenced in part by the developments and technologies that came out of the race for space.
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Blog post | June 04, 2016

Watch Day at Saspol, Ladakh

For years, I have heard about the importance of the Gon Nilaphuk caves at Saspol Village. My recent visit to the caves for the site’s Watch Day was therefore extremely exciting. Located near the world famous Alchi Monastery, the fifteenth-century caves overlook the Indus Valley. Most of the caves are now inaccessible, as climate change—specifically destabilization from increased rainfall in the area—has impacted the Ladakh region substantively.
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