China, Peru and Burma sites awarded threatened heritage status

10th Oct 2013

China, Peru and Burma are among 41 countries to get cultural sites placed on a new list which calls for international attention to threatened heritage.

Hong Kong's little-known village of Pokfulam is included in next year's World Monuments Watch (WMW), which was launched in 1996 and is updated every two years. Tourists on trekking holidays are drawn to Pokfulam valley, where they can contrast beautiful natural environments with bustling, urban ones. Walking from Victoria Peak to Pokfulam valley, they can look down on a forest of skyscrapers before entering a real forest themselves.

Peru's remote Gran Pajaten archaeological site sits in the Andean cloud forests on the border of the La Libertad region and the San Martin region. The awe-inspiring park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1990. It sits on a hilltop and comprises at least 26 circular stone structures dotted among numerous terraces and stairways.

Burma's Rangoon Historic Centre features all the architectural wonders tourists traditionally associate with this culture-rich country, with clusters of jaw-dropping pagodas.

WMW is compiled by a panel of global heritage specialists in the fields of archaeology, architecture and art history.

The 2014 list reflects a variety of preservation challenges, including conflict and catastrophe, lack of resources and development pressures.

There are 67 sites, including England's Battersea Power Station, in 41 countries judged to be at risk from the forces of nature, and social, political, and economic change. They date from prehistory to the twentieth century.

World Monuments Fund (WMF) president Bonnie Burnham said the selected sites singled out this year need both new economic resources and a focus on preservation.

She said these sites, and many others like them, recall human history and its achievements.

Ms Burnham added: "It takes vigilance to keep them active in the world; yet it is often the case that the very places that provide rich character and texture to our lives need more assistance and attention than they are given."

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