US/ICOMOS will honor the World Monuments Fund at the annual Ann Webster Smith Award Gala to be held November 9, 2010 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the recipient of the 2010 Ann Webster Smith Award for International Heritage Achievement. The Award honors an American individual, group of persons or institution, in the public or private sector, for extraordinary and sustained achievement in perpetuating Ann Webster Smith’s quest to make the United States a respected partner and trustworthy pillar to support the conservation of cultural heritage in all parts of the world.
The award nomination states in part: “The World Monuments Fund, during its forty-five year history, has effectively harnessed American corporate and individual philanthropy to rescue and protect heritage sites that are treasured by the people of more than ninety countries – on all continents. The World Monuments Fund is an exemplary global citizen.”
Founded in 1965, The World Monuments Fund today operates in more than 90 countries, to save the world’s most treasured architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF inspires an enduring commitment to safeguard this vital legacy for future generations through a variety of programs and activities. Nearly 85 percent of WMF’s revenue goes directly toward preservation projects, fieldwork, advocacy, and educational programs.
The core WMF program areas are advocacy, education and training, cultural legacy, capacity building, and disaster recovery. The bi-annual World Monuments Watch program, launched in 1996, is perhaps the most recognized program of the organization. The Watch calls international attention to cultural heritage around the world that is threatened by neglect, vandalism, conflict, or disaster. The 2010 list includes 93 sites in 47 countries.
Watch listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions. The Watch nomination process also serves as a vehicle for requesting WMF assistance for select projects. Since the program’s inception, 544 sites have been included on the seven Watches. Nearly half the listed sites, representing 79 countries, have received WMF grants totaling $50 million. These WMF monies have leveraged an additional $150 million in assistance from other sources.
Past recipients of the Ann Webster Smith Award are Russell E. Train (2009) and Lisa Ackerman (2008).
US/ICOMOS International Heritage Award for Conservation Excellence
Also on this occasion US/ICOMOS also will present the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Finca Vigía Foundation with the US/ICOMOS International Heritage Award for Conservation Excellence.
In 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Finca Vigía to its list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Built in 1886 on a hillside near Havana, Finca Vigía or “Lookout Farm” was Ernest Hemingway’s home from 1939 to 1960, the period when he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and The Sea and the posthumously-published A Moveable Feast and Islands in the Stream. The house has long-chronicled Hemingway’s life. The National Trust and the Hemingway Preservation Foundation (now the Finca Vigía Foundation) subsequently assembled a team of architects and engineers to work with their Cuban counterparts to prepare an emergency stabilization and preservation plan for the property. America’s 11 Most
Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. From urban districts to rural landscapes, Native American landmarks to 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities to single buildings, the list spotlights places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development, or insensitive public policy.