NEW YORK, NY.- World Monuments Fund
(WMF) and the International Alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH) today announced a $1.1M partnership, establishing a new joint effort between the two organizations to restore crisis-affected heritage sites around the world.
Beginning next year, ALIPH will provide financial support to WMF for two conflict-focused conservation projects: the reconstruction of Mam Rashan Shrine in Mount Sinjar, Iraq, a 2020 World Monuments Watch site destroyed by ISIS in late 2014; and the rehabilitation of Al-Badr Palace in the Old City of Taizz, Yemen, a 2018 World Monuments Watch site, which is part of the Taizz National Museum complex that was destroyed in Yemens Civil War.
ALIPH and WMF will also partner to respond to crisis by selecting projects at conflict-affected sites to receive support for early recovery actions. Additionally, the two organizations will jointly undertake exploratory missions to such areas to assess threats to cultural heritage.
Created in 2017 at the initiative of France and the United Arab Emirates, ALIPH is the only global fund dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of heritage in countries presently at war or undergoing reconstruction. Established as a foundation under Swiss law and based in Geneva, it enjoys the full privileges and immunities of an international organization thanks to the Headquarters agreement signed with the Swiss Federal Council.
WMF has been committed to protecting and conserving heritage in conflict zones for decades, beginning with its work at Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia in 1989 following the Khmer Rouge genocide that decimated the local population, including those with the knowledge and skills to care for heritage sites. Since then, WMFs work at conflict-damaged sites has included the reconstruction of Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of the Balkan Wars, the creation of programs in training, site management, and conservation skills at Babylon, Iraq, in the aftermath of the US-led invasion, and most recently a stonemasonry conservation training program in Mafraq, Jordan, for Syrian refugees and Jordanians.
Cultural heritage is a source of pride and identity for people around the world, and when conflict strikes, restoring treasured sites damaged by war can be a powerful tool for healing, said Bénédicte de Montlaur, CEO of World Monuments Fund. We are grateful and honored to begin this important partnership with ALIPH that will ensure action for threatened heritage and provide communities with new hope.
ALIPH and WMF share the same ambition: to work on site with local actors and populations, to protect endangered cultural heritage in a concrete and lasting manner. Our two institutions are complementary: a unique global fund on the one hand, and a renowned and experienced operator on the other. Together, we are determined to enhance heritage protection in conflict and post-conflict areas, stated Valéry Freland, Executive Director of ALIPH.