Celebrating Heritage at the Inaugural World Monuments Summit and Celebration

On November 4, friends and supporters of World Monuments Fund (WMF) gathered for the inaugural World Monuments Summit and Celebration to explore the driving issues facing cultural preservation today to recognize our achievements over the past year.

The day-long virtual summit featured international heritage preservation experts and advocates, and was followed by an in-person reception with our closest supporters to celebrate WMF’s accomplishments at New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center.

The virtual summit commenced with a keynote by Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief, National Geographic, and Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners, who spoke to the challenges and opportunities that come from covering the topic of cultural heritage in a changing world. Guests then joined a global team of conservators and external experts for three interactive sessions exploring how cultural heritage preservation can address some of the main challenges of today’s world, in particular: climate change; underrepresented heritage; and imbalanced tourism.

After the virtual summit, our closest friends gathered at Rockefeller Center where Lorna B. Goodman, Chair of WMF; Bénédicte de Montlaur, President and CEO; and Jonathan S. Bell, PhD, Vice President of Programs, gave remarks and thanked supporters of the event.

Throughout the evening, guests were transported to Bears Ears National Monument in Utah through a virtual reality experience provided by National Geographic and enjoyed a special musical performance from the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet. Champagne was generously provided by Taittinger.

Proceeds from the 2021 World Monuments Summit and Celebration will ensure a sustainable future for the organization, and allow us to continue our work with local communities around the globe to safeguard the world’s most significant monuments.

For more from this special event, browse the image slideshow below.