CORAL GABLES, Fla., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When the World Monuments Fund (WMF) chose the Colonial Churches of Santiago de Cuba as part of their World Monuments Watch List on Thursday, it recognized that these historic structures are worth preserving for posterity. In large part that designation was gained with the help of University of Miami Architecture Professor Jorge L. Hernández.
For the past two years, Hernández, who has done extensive work in preservation in his academic and professional engagement, has been working with the Archbishop of Santiago Monsenior Dionisio Garcia Ibañez as an advisor and advocate to help restore the historic structures which include the Cathedral of Santiago, built in 1515.
Other churches include Las Iglesias de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Cristo de la Salud e Santo Cristo. Hernández was the proponent of nominating the ensemble of eight urban and four provincial churches from Oriente for the special distinction which could help garner much needed funding.
"Beginning in the early 1500's these 12 churches and their plazas formed the skeleton of an urban and territorial infrastructure which has served as the social, cultural and religious vessel for the rich history of this city, region and nation. They are treasures," said Hernández. "Since they are now part of the World Monuments' Watch, the spectrum of their value is elevated to an international audience. It will be easier to raise awareness of their uniqueness and in turn raise funds to restore them and bring them back to their former glory."
Every two years, WMF accepts nominations for sites in need of international awareness. For many historic sites, inclusion on the Watch provides an opportunity to raise public awareness, foster local participation in preservation, leverage resources for conservation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions for global stewardship.
The WMF was launched in 1996 with support from founding sponsor American Express to call international attention to cultural heritage around the globe threatened by the forces of nature or the impact of social, political, and economic change.
For more information log onto www.wmf.org/press-room
Photo credit: Carlos Domanech
SOURCE University of Miami