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2004 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites Announced September 24, 2003

Endangered cultural heritage monuments listed this year range from ancient Ephesus in Turkey to Paraguay's railroad. (Courtesy World Monuments Fund)

For the first time, the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites covers every continent, including its first Antarctica nomination, explorer Ernest Shackleton's hut. The list, announced today by the World Monuments Fund (WMF), also features for the first time sites in Australia, Ecuador, Finland, the Palestinian Territories, Paraguay, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago. Also of interest this year are multi-national nominations such as the Jesuit Guaraní Missions submitted by Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and industrial sites of cultural value such as the company towns of Chile's nineteenth-century saltpeter industry.

The World Monuments Watch list helps raise awareness and funds needed to preserve these sites and encourages local communities to protect their cultural heritage. Nominations must include a proposal for action in addition to an explanation of the cultural monument, its importance, and the threats it faces. Sites are selected based on their plan for conservation and need of support.

"By working to preserve these treasures, WMF and its partners are helping to save for future generations the structures and places that tell us who we are. Be it a palace, a cave painting, an archaeological site, or a town, the sites on the Watch list speak of human aspirations and achievements. To lose any one of them would diminish us all," says WMF President Bonnie Burnham.

Highlights of the 2004 list:
(Links to WMF photos and descriptions where available)

* For the World Monuments Watch's complete 2004 list, see

© 2003 by the Archaeological Institute of America