The Global Heritage Fund has released a new report that lists 200 World Heritage Sites around the globe that are in danger from a variety of threats, turning the spotlight on 12 in particular that could disappear altogether due to a lack of funds, neglect, and mismanagement.
The 12 sites listed in the report include Palestine’s Hisham’s Palace, Turkey’s Ani, and Iraq’s Nineveh. Hisham’s Palace, the remains of a royal winter retreat built in 747 AD and the ancient city of Nineveh are both under threat from encroaching urban development, while Ani, an 11th century city on Turkey’s border with Armenia, finds many of it’s ancient structures literally falling apart on their foundations.
Other Heritage Sites that make the list of “most threatened” include Mahansrhangarh, the oldest archeological site in all of Bangladesh and Mirador in Guatemala, which is a pre-Columbian Mayan ruin which sits in a remote jungle location. Haiti’s Sans Souci Palace suffered damage during the recent earthquakes that hit the country, while the Maluti Temples in India suffer from years of neglect. Kenya’s Lamu Village, Famagusta, located in Cyprus, Pakistan’s Taxila, Intramuros and Fort Santiago in the Philippines, and Chersonesos in the Ukraine round out the list.
The GHF’s report recommends that the countries in which these historic sites are located invest in restoring and preserving the ancient places. While those repairs could cost millions of dollars to complete, the sites could potentially generate that income back through tourist dollars, although UNESCO representatives say that caution should be taken when going down that road, as sustainable tourism is not always an easy thing to accomplish and there are a lot of factors to consider before proceeding.
One thing that everyone agrees on however is that these amazing sites need to be preserved for future generations to visit and explore. Just how that will be accomplished remains to be seen.
[Photo credit: Christian Koehn via WikiMedia]