Ministry of Culture and World Monuments Fund, working for the promotion and preservation of the Alhambra

Agreements will facilitate Hidden Alhambra programme and preservation works on the Partal oratory

This morning, Government of Andalusia minister for Culture Paulino Plata signed a series of agreements with the World Monuments Fund (WMF) for the promotion and preservation of the Alhambra and Generalife site. WMF will provide €200,000 towards the Hidden Alhambra project through the American Express Partners in Preservation programme, along with another €300,000 for preservation works on the Alhambra and Generalife site.
Yesterday WMF joined the Patronato de la Alhambra (PAG) as a benefactor. Afterwards, Paulino Plata thanked the international heritage body for its “disinterested” support and praised its contribution to restoration works on over 500 monuments around the world.
The minister also recalled former projects developed in conjunction with the WMF, and said that “preserving our heritage is a legal obligation, an ethical imperative and a means of creating employment”.
The Hidden Alhambra project forms part of the WMF sustainable tourism initiative. The support of WMF, materialised through the Partners in Preservation programme, will allow for a strategic reworking of the tourist route through the complex, and to develop technologies to provide virtual access to areas too fragile to be explored by visitors.
Alfredo García-Valdés, American Express CEO in Spain, explained that, since his company has a long history in the tourism industry, “our philanthropy helps promote projects related to sustainable tourism and cultural preservation”.
The Hidden Alhambra project will organise new cultural routes, improving the tourist circuit and allowing for greater access to spaces that, because of the fragility of their construction materials and ornamental elements, do not support mass access. In short, the initiative will provide new channels through which to promote the Alhambra, inspire the curiosity of visitors and provide a better understanding of the monument.
The World Monuments Fund will also contribute an additional $300,000 through the Robert W. Wilson Challenge for the preservation of the Partal oratory. The amount will be matched by Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG) in a joint project to renovate the oratory and open it to the public.
Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments Fund, has declared that “many of the major sites of the world struggle with tourism pressures – too many people wanting to visit celebrated sites. One of the strategies to offer a high-quality visitor experience and preserve the monuments is to develop alternative destinations – things that people can visit that add to their experience. The Hidden Alhambra programme will provide such an opportunity. WMF is pleased to support The Hidden Alhambra programme of special visits to formerly inaccessible parts of the monument, and also to help conserve one of these buildings, the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG)”.
American Express
American Express, a world leader in financial, travel and corporate services, was founded in 1850. Its services include payment processing, travellers’ cheques, travel, financial planning, corporate services, insurance and international banking. American Express has been present in Spain since 1951. For further information, see www.americanexpress.es and http://www.wmf.org/partners/americanexpress/
World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organisation dedicated to saving the world’s most valuable places. Over 45 years, in more than 90 countries, experts have been applying proven techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through partnerships with local communities, funders and governments, WMF inspires an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. With headquarters in New York, WMF has offices and branches world wide, including WMF España, based in Madrid and headed by Juan Carlos Fierro. www.wmf.org www.twitter.com/worldmonuments   www.facebook.com/worldmonuments

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