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2008 Hadrian Award will be presented to Houghton and Doreen Freeman
and the Freeman Foundation for their unparalleled commitment to
historic preservation in China and Japan.
award presentation will take place at the Plaza in New York on
Thursday, October 16, 2008.
additional information or to purchase tickets, please contact WMF at
pleased to learn that our recently completed project at
St. George's Church, Bloomsbury, London, has won the 2008 Royal
Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) London Region Award for
Craftsmanship in Conservation.
WMF project, the International Built Heritage Conservation Training
Center at Bontida, Romania, recently won Europa Nostra's main prize
in the category of Education, Training, and Raising Awareness for
|WMF Mourns Victims of
Recent Natural Disasters|
|We at WMF mourn the victims of the recent natural disasters in China and Myanmar. We keep the people of these two countries in our thoughts at this catastrophic time. |
In disaster-stricken areas, the first priority is to save lives, prevent epidemics, and rule out the possibility of secondary disasters. Amongst these secondary disasters, damage is often done to historic buildings in the process of clearance and repair.
WMF's post-disaster work often focuses on preventing inadvertent demolition and poor repairs at important heritage sites. Already, Chinese experts with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the international organization ICOMOS are busy assessing the damage to the area's monuments and sites, and sending this information to colleagues in the West.
Two highly important sites known to be damaged are the Two Kings Temple near Dujiangyan (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the fortified village of Zangqiang Diaolou, a property currently on China's tentative list for future World Heritage designation.
Next month, when the World Heritage Committee meets in Quebec, China will present more extensive reports on these sites, as well as an appeal for the listing of Diaolou to be expedited, so that emergency assistance may begin. WMF will be there to hear the reports, and prepare for any help we can give when circumstances permit.
Bonnie Burnham, President
Several sites in Rome where WMF has been working to
conserve major Roman and early Christian heritage made the news in
recent weeks. At the Temple of Portunus (above), perhaps the most
important Roman Republican structure still standing, the discovery
of a 9th-century fresco fragment of St. Mary of Egypt was discovered
in the course of restoration. This discovery has shed new
light on the pagan temple's conversion to a Christian church in the
early medieval period. Many Roman temples, like the adjacent Temple
of Hercules in the Forum Boarium, were reused in early Christian and
medieval times as churches, and even as housing. WMF's work at these
two sites has revealed previously unknown early mural paintings,
adding to our historical understanding of the period.
This spring, three rooms in the House of
Augustus, the residence of Rome's first emperor, c. 30 BC, were
opened to the public, marking the beginning of a major conservation
campaign on the Palatine Hill. WMF is participating in the second
phase of this project, the restoration of the Room of the
Perspective, which is already underway. Visitors, while in
limited numbers, are able to view the extraordinarily vivid
frescoes for the first time since they were painted more than 2,000
At the nearby Santa Maria Antiqua, in the Roman Forum, the
spectacular discovery of several layers of early Christian murals
was unveiled briefly, coinciding with the opening of the House of
Augustus. The restoration continues, slated for completion in 2009,
after years of painstaking work.
Read more about the Temple of Portunus and the Temple of Hercules in the Forum Boarium,
the House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill, and Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman
|Watch Site Update:
Wedding Bells in Shanghai Synagogue|
pleased to learn that the Ohel Rachel synagogue in Shanghai hosted
its first wedding in 60 years this past March. Built in 1920, the
synagogue avoided destruction after the Communist revolution of
1949, unlike many other houses of worship, because it was converted
into a storage facility and later used as an auditorium. It is one
of only two synagogues in Shanghai (out of at least seven) that
still survive, reminders of the city's once-thriving Jewish
community that largely faded away after 1949. A strong
advocate for Ohel Rachel, WMF placed the site on the 2002 and 2004
Watch Lists, and has recently met with Shanghai city officials to
discuss its conservation.