JUNE 2007
WMF on the Web
FOCUS ON: Brancusi's Endless Column Ensemble
Endless Column
The Endless Column by famed Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) has been hailed as one of the great works of twentieth-century open-air art. 
See before and after photos of the restoration and learn more about WMF's work on the Endless Column Ensemble...
From the WMF Bookshelf
Endless Book 
Read WMF's newest book, Brancusi's Endless Column, from Scala Press. Available at your local bookstore or free if you become a new member of WMF level. 
Call 646-424-9594, ext. 247, for more information.
2008 Watch Panel Convenes in New York City

Watch Panel

Photo: The Watch panel evaluated more than 200 nominations in our New York offices last month.

Much of the work that the World Monuments Fund undertakes happens in far-flung, exotic places all over the world. Every two years, though, the action comes home to our New York headquarters as nominations for the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites arrive in bubble-wrapped envelopes and over-loaded e-mails. 


Hundreds of submissions flooded our offices this past January in response to our global call for nominations, which we issued more than a year ago. While it was exciting to see so many nominations arrive from around the world, the sheer volume was sobering. For months our staff sorted through, catalogued, and summarized each nomination to aid our panel of independent cultural heritage experts in evaluating the sites. The panel convened in May, and over the course of three days, the panel considered each nomination on the basis of site significance, urgency of need, and the viability of conservation plans put forth. The resulting list will be announced on June 6.


Be sure to visit our website next week for the full list and descriptions of each site, as well as information on how you can help save these irreplaceable monuments to our cultural heritage. 

Stand Up for the Burrup

In an effort to protect the Dampier Rock Art Site from further industrial development, concerned citizens around the world are "standing up for the Burrup" before their own iconic monuments and landscapes. Their hope is to send a powerful message to the Western Australian Government, which refuses to protect the thousands of engravings and petroglyphs-many thought to be more than 10,000 years old -- at the Burrup Peninsula site, favoring continued expansion of natural gas industry there.

Since the first natural gas plant was built on the Burrup in the 1960s, hundreds if not thousands of engravings have been removed or destroyed, while toxic emissions generated by the installations continue to eat away at renderings not directly damaged by site construction. Despite the wishes of the area's Aboriginal population and advocates for preservation, the Western Australian Government seems content to lose an extraordinary cultural landscape of global importance (see ICON, Winter 2007). To join the campaign to save the site, visit: Stand Up for the Burrup.

The Dampier Rock Art Complex
was listed on both the 2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered SitesRead more about it in the Winter 2007 issue of ICON.



Interactive Panoramas of the Forbidden City

Qianlong GardenEmperor Qianlong's Lodge of Retirement, an eighteenth-century jewelbox tucked away in the northeast quadrant of the Forbidden City, is the subject of a multi-million-dollar conservation initiative, undertaken by the World Monuments Fund in partnership with the Palace Museum, Beijing

Now, you can see the restoration of the Lodge up close through our online panoramas or visit it in person on our Member Trip to China.

Monuments in Context
This spring saw the return of World Monuments: Touchstones of Past and Present, WMF's annual lecture series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The three-lecture series, now in its second year and presented in collaboration with the Museum, focuses on the meaning of architectural monuments in their cultural context and on efforts to ensure their survival today. 


Acclaimed architect Norman Foster gave an insightful lecture on designing new spaces and new uses for important historical environments, discussing the many ways in which old and new structures can not only coexist in the modern world, but complement one another. Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness, delivered a witty lecture on how our surroundings affect our emotional wellbeing, illustrating the impact that architecture and design make on our daily lives, whether or not we are conscious of it. Honorary WMF chairman John Julius Norwich closed out the popular series with a rousing talk on the ongoing efforts to save Venice, both its architecture and its unique spirit. 


We thank those of you who helped make this our must successful series yet, and invite everyone to join us next year as we present another set of exciting speakers.

Membership Travel Program

China Trip 

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