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Black Tie International:
World Monuments Watch Day


Children tour the Maya site of Quiriguá in Guatemala on Watch Day. © Jose Crasborn/World Monuments Fund

Children tour the Maya site of Quiriguá in Guatemala on Watch Day.
 © Jose Crasborn/World Monuments Fund.




 2012 WORLD MONUMENTS FUND LAUNCHES “WORLD MONUMENTS WATCH DAY,” CELEBRATING HERITAGE SITES ACROSS THE GLOBE Events highlight importance of cultural heritage sites to local communities World Monuments Fund (WMF) announces the launch of “World Monuments Watch Day,” comprising a series of celebratory and educational events to be held at cultural heritage sites
around the world.

A new component of WMF’s biennial World Monuments Watch program, Watch Day is intended to encourage local engagement with these treasured places, while also raising global awareness of their vital importance both to the communities in which they are located and to our shared human history. All of the places celebrating Watch Day are on the 2012 World Monuments Watch. Some thirty sites on five continents will participate in Watch Day events on selected dates through October 15, 2012.

From Argentina to Poland, and from Madagascar to Japan, local communities have designed activities that range from workshops in traditional building techniques, to programs for schoolchildren, blessings, festivals, concerts, and more. (See attached list of participating sites.) WMF, which invited the 2012 Watch sites to take part in the program, has provided all participants with an activity kit containing classroom materials, children’s activity pages, downloadable logos for use on banners or T-shirts, and small grants to support events and publicity. World Monuments Fund President Bonnie Burnham states, “Heritage sites are critically important to the economy, identity, and daily lives of the local communities in which they are located.

Moreover, as eloquent monuments to human civilization and culture, they are also of global importance. WMF hopes that the Watch Day events will highlight the urgent need to conserve and care for these irreplaceable treasures.”

Watch Day participants will record their activities on videotape, and WMF will edit the results into a dynamic short video highlighting the diverse connections between the monuments and the people who live with them. The video will be featured at a number of events in December (details and dates to be announced), and will be available on WMF’s website (, and circulated widely via social media. World Monuments Fund World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world’s most treasured places.

For 47 years, working in more than 90 countries, WMF’s 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 inspires an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations.

Headquartered in New York, WMF has offices and affiliates worldwide.,, and

World Monuments Watch The biennial World Monuments Watch was launched in 1996 with a goal of calling international attention to cultural heritage around the globe threatened by the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change. For many historic sites, inclusion on the Watch provides an opportunity to raise public awareness, foster local participation in preservation, leverage resources for conservation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions.

Most importantly, the Watch tells compelling stories of human aspiration, imagination, and adaptation by highlighting our shared heritage and its promise for the future. Since its inception, the World Monuments Watch has provided support for more than 600 sites. In the process, it has become a powerful vehicle for understanding and addressing the range of challenges confronting the field of heritage conservation today.

joyce brooks

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