The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1965 that is dedicated to the preservation of sites that hold unequivocal cultural importance; “The stories sites tell are universal. The dangers they face are immense”.
For more than half a century the WMF have paved the way in conserving sites of special cultural interest which are irreplaceable to the communities that value them. The organisation identifies architecturally important sites from all periods of human civilization, as well as unique cultural customs and traditional crafts.
We live in a world where cultural treasures are facing immense pressure due to the fiat of ongoing natural and human ensued processes such as earthquakes, landslides, floods as well as issues such as conflict and lack of care. The WMF will act accordingly to such pressures and protect sites from further degradation with a plan of recovery.
The protection of cultural heritage has been the primary motivation for the WMF and together with its local partners they can provide financial and technical support for areas that need it most (to ensure sustainability). Since the beginning of its existence, WMF has managed to support more than 600 projects in 90 countries. Today, together with affiliated organizations based in England, India, Peru, Portugal and Spain, the WMF sponsors projects for the preservation of cultural heritage around the world.
Furthermore, the WMF works right in the heart of the communities who are the true guardians of such cultural treasures. They are provided with the infrastructural means to counteract degradation through local and participatory projects; sustaining such sites will bring enjoyment and appreciation for future generations. WMF teams are composed of international specialists who lead pilot projects, organize training programs, and plan a long-term management strategy for the projects.
The Worlds Monument Watch is the pilot project founded by the Worlds Monument Fund, which aims to identify sites of interest. Every two years, a list of monuments is published of that are under threat because of their isolation and widespread social disregard for cultural value. Organisations around the world have the opportunity to nominate projects that deserve attention. Czech National Trust signed projects last year: Beniess Villa in Litol and Cibulka Mansion in Košíře. We did not get our picks this year, but the CNT plans to draw attention to the WMF sites in the Czech Republic in the coming years as well.