A Beacon for Heritage

The World Monuments Watch is a global program that seeks to discover, spotlight, and take action on behalf of heritage places facing challenges or presenting opportunities of direct relevance to our global society. Since 1996, the program has issued a call to action for over 800 sites and worked with their communities to make a difference.

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The 2020 World Monuments Watch

Learn about 25 significant sites that need our help.

World Monuments Fund Watch Day

Watch Days are held by site stakeholders to bring communities together in celebration of their heritage and traditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Watch? How does it operate?
  • Do sites have to be endangered in order to be selected for the program?
  • Does WMF provide funding for sites included on the Watch?
  • Is inclusion on the Watch permanent? Can a site be removed from the Watch?
  • Who can nominate a site to the Watch?
  • How can one nominate a site? What is the selection process?

The World Monuments Watch is a global, nomination-based program that seeks to discover, spotlight, and take action on behalf of heritage places facing challenges or presenting opportunities of direct relevance to our global society. Every two-year cycle of the Watch includes 25 heritage places from around the world, selected for their cultural significance, the cause for action in light of internationally pressing issues, and the potential for World Monuments Fund to make a meaningful difference. Through the Watch, WMF collaborates with local partners to design and implement targeted conservation programs—including advocacy, planning, education, and physical interventions in the historic built environment. Since its inception in 1996, the program has included 837 sites in 135 countries. 

No. The 25 sites that are included on the Watch all face unique sets of circumstances and challenges, often representing timely opportunities for new positive outcomes that include mitigating a variety of risk factors. While some nominators may advocate for at-risk sites, we encourage all kinds of nominations that show how heritage and preservation can make a meaningful difference in the most relevant issues of our time.

World Monuments Fund will seek funds from a range of sources to support these projects. While a specific amount cannot be guaranteed, resources can be allocated as funding partners are identified and programs evolve. World Monuments Fund is not a grant-making institution, and the process of nominating a site to the Watch is not a grant application. Inclusion on the Watch results in the opportunity for WMF, nominators, and other stakeholders to jointly develop a conservation project. Funds raised by WMF are used to support joint work between WMF and our partners.

Inclusion on the Watch is not a permanent designation. Rather, sites are included on a Watch cycle for a period of two years. In rare cases, a site may be included on more than one cycle of the program, provided that a new nomination is submitted.

Anyone can nominate a site to the Watch, including private individuals and representatives of civil society organizations, community groups, government agencies, educational institutions, or other entities.

Nominations to the 2022 World Monuments Watch can be submitted by completing an online nomination form, accessible from the top of this page and at wmf.org/nominate. The nomination form contains questions about the nominated site, the nominator’s plan, and relevance to key global challenges. Nominations undergo a rigorous review process, conducted by World Monuments Fund and independent experts. Nominations are evaluated for their potential to make a difference in responding to critical contemporary issues, the need for urgent or timely action, and feasibility of the proposed approach. 

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Become a member and have a direct impact in helping to preserve the world’s great cultural heritage.
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Your gift will help raise international awareness and promote local action for Watch sites across the globe.

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For news about our projects and initiatives, including the World Monuments Watch press kit, please contact Judith Walker, Vice President of Communications, at jwalker@wmf.org.