Press Release

World Monuments Fund and ALIPH Announce $1.1M Partnership to Preserve Conflict-Affected Heritage


New Collaboration Will Help Rebuild Mam Rashan Shrine, Restore Site in Yemen

New York, NY, December 18, 2019 —World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the International Alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH) today announced a $1.1M partnership, establishing a new joint effort between the two organizations to restore crisis-affected heritage sites around the world.

Beginning next year, ALIPH will provide financial support to WMF for two conflict-focused conservation projects: the reconstruction of Mam Rashan Shrine in Mount Sinjar, Iraq, a 2020 World Monuments Watch site destroyed by ISIS in late 2014; and the rehabilitation of Al-Badr Palace in the Old City of Ta’izz, Yemen, a 2018 World Monuments Watch site, which is part of the Ta’izz National Museum complex that was destroyed in Yemen’s Civil War.

ALIPH and WMF will also partner to respond to crisis by selecting projects at conflict-affected sites to receive support for early recovery actions. Additionally, the two organizations will jointly undertake exploratory missions to such areas to assess threats to cultural heritage.

Created in 2017 at the initiative of France and the United Arab Emirates, ALIPH is the only global fund dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of heritage in countries presently at war or undergoing reconstruction. Established as a foundation under Swiss law and based in Geneva, it enjoys the full privileges and immunities of an international organization thanks to the Headquarters agreement signed with the Swiss Federal Council.

WMF has been committed to protecting and conserving heritage in conflict zones for decades, beginning with its work at Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia in 1989 following the Khmer Rouge genocide that decimated the local population, including those with the knowledge and skills to care for heritage sites. Since then, WMF’s work at conflict-damaged sites has included the reconstruction of Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of the Balkan Wars, the creation of programs in training, site management, and conservation skills at Babylon, Iraq, in the aftermath of the US-led invasion, and most recently a stonemasonry conservation training program in Mafraq, Jordan, for Syrian refugees and Jordanians.

“Cultural heritage is a source of pride and identity for people around the world, and when conflict strikes, restoring treasured sites damaged by war can be a powerful tool for healing,” said Bénédicte de Montlaur, CEO of World Monuments Fund. “We are grateful and honored to begin this important partnership with ALIPH that will ensure action for threatened heritage and provide communities with new hope.”

“ALIPH and WMF share the same ambition: to work on site with local actors and populations, to protect endangered cultural heritage in a concrete and lasting manner. Our two institutions are complementary: a unique global fund on the one hand, and a renowned and experienced operator on the other. Together, we are determined to enhance heritage protection in conflict and post-conflict areas,” stated Valéry Freland, Executive Director of ALIPH.

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World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world’s treasured places. For more than 50 years, working in more than 100 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to the preservation of important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF seeks to inspire an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has offices and affiliates worldwide. Visit for more information, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The International alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH) provides concrete support for the protection and reconstruction of cultural heritage in conflict zones and post-conflict situations. The Alliance was founded in March 2017 in response to the massive destruction of outstanding, often ancient, cultural heritage in recent years. Operating under Swiss law, this Geneva-based foundation, also has the status of an international organization.

ALIPH financially supports associations, foundations, academic, cultural and heritage institutions, and international organizations working to preserve cultural heritage in the face of imminent conflict or to intervene for its rehabilitation. Its three areas of intervention are: preventive protection to limit the risks of destruction, emergency measures to ensure the security of heritage, and post-conflict actions to enable local populations to once again enjoy their cultural heritage.

selects projects through regular calls—the next call will be open from 15 January-16 March. Emergency relief funding can also be applied for on a rolling basis. More information available at: or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Press Contact:

Hillary Prim, Director of Communications, World Monuments Fund, +1-646-424-9582 or

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