Amberd seen from above

Armenia’s Amberd among Most Endangered Sites in Europe Shortlisted for 2024

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YEREVAN (Panorama.am) — Armenia’s Amberd Historical and Cultural Reserve has been shortlisted for this year’s edition of the 7 Most Endangered Program announced  on January 29 by Europa Nostra, the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute.

In addition to Amberd, the other sites are: Archaeological Site of Muret e Portës, Durrës, Albania; Palais du Midi, Brussels, Belgium; Working-class Housing (courées) in Roubaix-Tourcoing, France; Cycladic Islands, notably Sifnos, Serifos and Folegandros, Greece; Church of San Pietro in Gessate, Milan, Italy; Synagogue of Siena, Italy; Palace in Sztynort, northern Masuria, Poland; Home of the Yugoslav People’s Army in Šabac, Serbia; Greek Orthodox Church of St. Georgios, Altınözü / Hatay province, Turkey and Iron Gate of Antioch, Antakya / Hatay province, also in Turkey.

The Executive President of Europa Nostra, Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, stated: “The selected heritage sites are threatened by demolition, unsuitable development, the devastating impact of natural disasters, neglect or lack of funding. By publishing this shortlist, we wish to convey a strong message of solidarity and support to the activists and local communities who are deeply committed to saving these sites. Europe’s heritage must be preserved not only as a testimony of our shared past, but also as a catalyst for a sustainable, cohesive and peaceful future.”

The Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute, Shiva Dustdar, added: “Cultural heritage is a key resource for European identity, attractiveness and economic growth. This shortlist reminds us how fragile it is and how much we take it for granted. Together with our long-time partner Europa Nostra, the Institute amplifies the efforts of local communities throughout Europe who know that saving cultural heritage sites will help them tackle other pressing challenges. We hope to see the sites restored and preserved for generations to come.”

Fortress of Amberd

The sites were shortlisted by an international Advisory Panel, comprising experts in history, archaeology, architecture, conservation, project analysis and finance. Nominations for the 7 Most Endangered Program 2024 were put forward by member organizations, associate organizations or individual members of Europa Nostra, as well as by members of the European Heritage Alliance.

The selection was made on the basis of the outstanding heritage significance and cultural value of each of the sites, as well as the serious danger that they are facing today. The level of engagement of local communities and the commitment of public and private stakeholders to saving these sites were considered crucial added values. Another selection criterion was the potential of these sites to act as a catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development.

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The final list of 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe for 2024 will be unveiled in April.

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