Press Release

World Monuments Fund Britain Announces New Executive Director

NEW YORK, NY, May 15, 2023—Magnus von Wistinghausen has been appointed Executive Director of World Monuments Fund Britain (WMFB), replacing John Darlington, who takes up a new role as Director of Projects. Magnus starts in his position in May 2023, bringing with him more than 25 years’ senior-level experience working in the arts and heritage sector as well as arts higher education.

World Monuments Fund’s (WMF) mission is to safeguard irreplaceable heritage across the world–championing our global architectural legacy and helping to ensure our unique built heritage remains relevant and accessible for local communities. Magnus joins World Monuments Fund Britain at an important time, with current projects across the UK including a major conservation program at Hurst Castle and the development of green strategies for the iconic Palm House at the UNESCO-listed Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Magnus’s remit as Executive Director will include leading the development of a strategic growth plan; managing and building key stakeholder relationships; and overseeing project identification and delivery. Magnus will work closely with World Monuments Fund headquarters in New York and other WMF affiliates to pursue the global agenda including the World Monuments Watch Programme and other worldwide initiatives.

Hélène Marie Shafran, Chair of World Monuments Fund Britain, said:I am delighted to welcome Magnus, an accomplished professional in the field of cultural heritage, and am incredibly thankful to John for his transformative leadership at the helm of World Monuments Fund Britain during the past eight years. It’s wonderful that John remains with us part time in his new role as Director of Projects, thus allowing him to pursue his passion for writing. Magnus will work closely with John to deliver on our existing commitments and identify new projects in what is a very busy and exciting time for WMFB. Together they make a formidable team and will be central to our important work safeguarding irreplaceable heritage in the UK and beyond.”

Magnus von Wistinghausen, Executive Director of World Monuments Fund Britain, said: I’m thrilled to be joining World Monuments Fund Britain at this moment in time. With cultural heritage around the world facing unprecedented challenges and threats, WMF’s role and work is more important than ever. I am looking forward to working with the Trustees, John Darlington in his new role, and WMF colleagues and partners in Britain and around the world to build on WMFB’s achievements and continue to grow its reach, relevance, and impact.”  

Originally trained as an economist with career foundations in investment banking, Magnus von Wistinghausen has worked with boards and senior management teams throughout his professional life as consultant, adviser, senior executive, and trustee. His consultancy work has focussed on strategic, business, and capital project planning with an emphasis on museums and heritage organisations and their funders, both in the UK and internationally. As Vice Principal of City & Guilds of London Art School for more than ten years, he co-led a period of transformation of this 150-year-old independent specialist teaching institution. Magnus is a trustee of Yorkshire Sculpture Park and current Chair of the Ragged School Museum Trust in London, which recently completed an ambitious development project with £5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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About World Monuments Fund

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organisation devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organisation is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates in Cambodia, India, Peru, Portugal, Spain, France and the UK. Since 1965, our global team of experts has preserved the world's diverse cultural heritage using the highest international standards at more than 700 sites in 112 countries. Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today’s most pressing challenges: climate change, underrepresentation, imbalanced tourism, and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.

About World Monuments Fund Britain

World Monuments Fund Britain is WMF’s largest affiliate office, active in the UK and abroad since 1995. WMFB has completed projects at more than 50 UK sites and established partnerships with many more on the World Monuments Watch to provide on-site conservation, educational resources, training, and advocacy. In recent years, the UK office has worked more frequently outside of the UK. In partnership with the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, WMFB has worked alongside WMF to carry out work in Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen, supporting heritage projects within communities impacted by conflict. As a UK registered charity, WMFB receives no government funding and does not have an endowment, relying on generous donations from members and supporters.

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