ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The World Monuments Fund has identified 67 sites in need of preservation. The sites and monuments are found in 41 countries from Peru to Vietnam and England to China. There is one place in Turkey included on the list: the Haydarpaşa Railway Station in Istanbul, the major intercity railway station
A fire brome out last year in Istanbul’s historical Haydarpaşa Railway Station, engulfing the building’s roof in flames. AA Photo.
Growing tourism, lack of resources, neglect and natural disasters pose a
threat to the world’s cultural heritage, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) said
Oct. 5, identifying 67 sites in need of preservation, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa Railway Station, which is a major intercity rail
station and transportation hub in the city, is one of the places in the list.
The station is the busiest rail terminal in Turkey and the Middle East and one
of the busiest in Eastern Europe.
A fire broke out in November last year at the historical train station,
engulfing the landmark building’s roof in flames and threatening the entire
structure. The entire roof of the building was destroyed by the flames and some
parts of the structure’s top story collapsed.
Istanbul authorities previously suggested a major architectural
transformation project that would reconstruct the historic Haydarpaşa train
station by demolishing the Haydarpaşa port, a proposal that has received
criticism from some circles in the city.
Forty-one countries on the list
The sites and monuments are found in 41 countries from Peru to Vietnam and
England to China, the World Monuments Fund said, unveiling a 2012 watch list
that “reminds us of our collective role as stewards of the earth and of its
Places in need of care include the palace and garden of China’s Nanyue
Kingdom, ancient Nasca lines and geoglyphs (large designs made from durable
elements of the geography) in Peru, England’s Coventry Cathedral and the
floating fishing villages along Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay.
“The 67 sites vividly illustrate the ever-more pressing need to create a
balance between heritage concerns and the social, economic, and environmental
interests of communities around the world,” the fund said in a statement.
“In addition to promoting community cohesion and pride, heritage preservation
can have an especially positive impact on local populations in times of economic
distress, for example through employment and the development of well-managed
WMF president Bonnie Burnham said the 2012 watch list “is a call to action on
behalf of endangered cultural heritage sites across the globe.”
“And while these sites are historic, they are also very much of the present,
integral parts of the lives of the people who come into contact with them every
day,” he said.
Nanyue Kingdom, which was uncovered in 1996 and dates from the 2nd century BC
is “one of the most important archeological discoveries in modern China,” and is
located beneath the bustling metropolis of Guangzhou.
It “needs a sustainable plan for visitor access, interpretation, and
enjoyment by local residents, many of whom live immediately adjacent to the
archeological zone,” the fund said.
The Nasca lines and geoglyphs in the desert of southern Peru, drawn between
500 BC and 500 AD, “represent one of the most important and enigmatic
archaeological remains in a country that is rich in ancient sites,” the group
Already named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the lines and geoglyphs
have become an important tourist destination and this has “necessitated the
development of a master plan to ensure long-term preservation and
England’s Coventry Cathedral, rebuilt after it was bombed in World War II,
needs additional rehabilitation because “exposure to the elements has eroded the
ruins over time,” the organization said.
Vietnam’s floating villages “have long been recognized as a site of
spectacular natural as well as cultural significance,” the WMF said, but added
“they struggle to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to the
pressures of increasing tourism.”
Other sites on the list include the Cour Royale at Tiebele, Burkino Faso; the
First Cemetery of Athens, Greece; Manufacturers Trust Company Building in New
York; the historic Moor-influenced town of Trujillo, Spain; Balaji Ghat worship
sites along the Ganges in Varanasi, India; the Tell Umm el-Amr (Saint Hilarion)
Monastery on the Gaza Strip; and the historic district of Charleston, South