From the Sacred Valley of the Incas that is threatened by a proposed airport to a Yazidi shrine in Iraq, 25 threatened world sites in urgent need of protection have been added to a “watch list”.

Unveiling its watch list for 2020, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) highlighted locations in 21 countries, including Chile’s Easter Island, which is home to renowned rock carvings created by indigenous people.

WMF said in a statement the sites “are facing daunting threats such as encroaching urbanisation, political turmoil, natural disaster, and violent conflicts, or present compelling conservation opportunities”.

It referenced Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral, which was badly damaged in a fire this year, and the San Antonio Woolworth Building in Texas, significant in the African-American civil rights movement but threatened by a redevelopment plan.

The non-governmental organisation said Peru’s Sacred Valley near Machu Picchu was in danger because of plans to build a new airport and noted that rebuilding a destroyed shrine in Iraq would honour the minority Yazidi community.

WMF also singled out Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, land sacred to indigenous North Americans, and the Gingerbread neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The New York-based foundation works with local partners to help preserve ancient and culturally significant sites around the globe.

WMF, with the support of its main financial backer American Express, says it has contributed $160 million to help maintain more than 800 sites since 1996.


1. Koutammakou, Land of the Batammariba, Benin and Togo

2. Ontario Place, Canada

3. Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island, Chile

4. Alexan Palace, Egypt

5. Notre-Dame de Paris, France

6. Tusheti National Park, Georgia

7. Gingerbread Neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

8. Historic Water Systems of the Deccan Plateau, India

9. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, India

10. Mam Rashan Shrine, Iraq

11. Inari-yu Bathhouse, Japan

12. Iwamatsu District, Japan

13. Canal Nacional, Mexico

14. Choijin Lama Temple, Mongolia

15. Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses, Myanmar

16. Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

17. Anarkali Bazaar, Pakistan

18. Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

19. Kindler Chapel, Pabianice Evangelical Cemetery, Poland

20. Courtyard Houses of Axerquía, Spain

21. Bennerley Viaduct, United Kingdom

22. Bears Ears National Monument, USA

23. Central Aguirre Historic District, USA

24. San Antonio Woolworth Building, USA

25. Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara, Uzbekistan