World monuments at risk warns report

The World Monument Fund has expressed concern about buildings that are at risk.

The World Monument Fund is a New York based charity dedicated to the preservation of important buildings. Every two years it publishes a report that names the top endangered sites in the world.

In the latest report, two sites in Britain are highlighted: the Moseley Road baths in Birmingham and Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire.

Moseley Road Baths is a Grade II listed building owned by the local authority which needs extensive renovation. Birmingham City Council is planning to close the building for swimming in 2017 as it cannot afford its upkeep. It may be sold to a private company for development.

The owner of Wentworth Woodhouse died and the house is for sale. On top of the asking price of £8m, it is estimated that repairs needed to save the building from subsidence problems will cost £42m.

Not all endangered sites on the World Monument Fund’s list are caused by human neglect. As a result of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, many cultural monuments in Kathmandu have been destroyed or severely damaged.

Another concern of the report is the activities of the Islamic State movement which has destroyed many ancient sites, including Palmyra in Syria.

Many of the endangered sites are the focus of support groups that are fighting to save them. Some have been effective. The Shukhov Tower was designed in Moscow by Vladmir Shukhov. It was about to be demolished, but a campaign by international architects reprieved it. However, it is still on the World Monument Fund watch list, as its long term future has not been secured.

Great architecture is great art and groups like the World Monument Fund are fighting to preserve the world’s major architectural sites.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
November 17, 2015

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