Friday, August 26, 2005

Saving World Monuments

An interview with Bonnie Burnham, President of the World Monuments Fund, who quotes the West Bank as an example of a project under investigation: "One of the sites that we've had on several watch lists is the ancient Egyptian monuments at Luxor. First, the Valley of Kings was listed and now the entire West Bank of the Nile, at the place of Ancient Thebes. It's a very complex situation involving too much tourism, too much development, a rise in the water table as a result of the building of the Aswan Dam, more agriculture encroaching on the monumental sites as a result. And there are archeologists throughout the area who are working against the clock to try to excavate ancient monuments and sculpture that are in the ground that are deteriorating very, very rapidly as a result of all of this. And what the watch listing is calling for is a plan for the whole area that will protect the sites and use these economic generators to support the preservation rather than to undermine the very thing that people go there for". The whole interview is well worth reading in full.

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