World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced on February 16, 2023, a commitment from funders of more than US $10 million toward safeguarding treasured places around the globe in urgent need of intervention. Ranging from winterization efforts at Ukrainian heritage sites damaged by conflict to documenting oral histories with survivors of one of Australia’s past Aboriginal child ‘training institutions’, the new suite of projects launching in 2023 build on WMF’s commitment to working in partnership with communities to address the greatest threats and challenges to heritage today—namely, conflict, climate change, and underrepresentation. Also included is work at Kew Gardens in London to reduce the carbon footprint of its Palm House.
In addition to targeted interventions in these areas, WMF is growing its portfolio of Signature Projects, representing long-term engagements that employ innovative preservation strategies with transformational impact. Initiatives include a groundbreaking effort to preserve the largely unprotected Chachapoyas archaeological sites within Peru’s Río Abiseo National Park, the conservation of mid-century murals by Afro-Portuguese artist José de Almada Negreiros, and the development of green strategies for the iconic Palm House at the UNESCO-listed Kew Gardens in the UK.
“Whether in the face of climate change, war, or discrimination, people around the world are standing up for the places that give meaning to their lives and provide economic opportunities,” Bénédicte de Montlaur, President and CEO of World Monuments Fund, said. “Our 2023 projects provide communities with the tools they need to sustain what is most important to them while responding and adapting to the challenges of our time.”
WMF is growing its portfolio of Signature Projects, representing the organization’s most ambitious and long-term conservation efforts across the globe. These engagements address critical needs at a heritage place and facilitate far-ranging local participation, professional skills development, and innovative solutions that can serve as models for future projects. Kew Gardens in London Palm House is among the Signature Projects.
The Palm House, Kew Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in South West London, is recognized as the world’s leading botanic institution, with a mission to understand and protect plants and fungi for the well-being of people and the future of all life on earth. A centerpiece among Kew’s constellation of historic buildings is the 1848 Palm House, one of the world’s greatest garden structures. The Palm House is celebrated for its beauty and innovative use of materials and construction, as well as for the rich sensory experience it provides 2.2 million visitors annually.
In the first endeavor of its kind, WMF is partnering on a project to both restore the Palm House at Kew Gardens in London and drastically decrease its carbon footprint by the year 2030 through the application of innovative solutions that can be replicated at glasshouses and other historic structures around the globe.
About World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organization is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates in Cambodia, India, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.
Since 1965, our global team of experts has preserved the world’s diverse cultural heritage using the highest international standards at more than 700 sites in 112 countries. Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today’s most pressing challenges: climate change, underrepresentation, imbalanced tourism, and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.gardensLondonUnited Kingdom