Sunday, May 6, 2012

Asia's Heritage in Peril

The Global Heritage Fund has released a list of the ten most endangered cultural heritage sites in Asia. “The report highlights 10 of Asia’s most significant archaeological and heritage sites facing irreparable loss and destruction due to five accelerating man-made threats: development pressures, unsustainable tourism, insufficient management, looting, and war and conflict.”
Topping the list is Ayutthaya, Thailand, the former capital of the kingdom of Siam (pictured above). Renovations of the 14th-century city, which was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767, began in 1969 and intensified in 1976 when the site was converted into an historical park. Ayutthaya was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991.
Unlike UNESCO, which devotes the majority of its funds to the protection of cultural heritage in the world’s wealthiest countries, the Global Heritage Fund focuses its resources on the preservation of archaeological and heritage sites in developing nations. Such countries often face economic, political and martial conditions that make protecting cultural heritage exceedingly difficult.
Perhaps UNESCO should follow the lead of the GHF and concentrate more of its resources on protecting those nations that cannot protect themselves. 
Originally posted by Joshua Mix on CulturalSecurity.net.

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