Mario Testino, one of the worlds most well-known and influential photographers and a native of Lima, Peru, has been named President of the Board of World Monuments Fund Peru
, the organizations first office in South America, by Bonnie Burnham, President of World Monuments Fund (WMF). Mr. Testino, whose work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, has long been recognized as a major force in arts and culture.
In remarks given at the announcement, held on April 11 at MATE Museo Mario Testino, the cultural institution in Lima dedicated to the exhibition of Mr. Testinos and other artists work, WMF President Bonnie Burnham stated, As a native of Lima, a city known worldwide for the richness of its cultural heritage, Mario Testino is the ideal person to lead the new WMF Peru. Formally creating an affiliate in Lima demonstrates the World Monuments Funds commitment to the heritage of Peru as well as the whole of South America.
My interest in Perus heritage began as a university student in Lima, explained Mr. Testino. Throughout my countless journeys all over the world, I have always admired the conservation of historic monuments and dreamed of being able to help recover Perus precious national treasures. Leading World Monuments Funds Peru affiliate allows me to accomplish this dream.
WMF has worked in Peru since 1996 in partnership with local organizations on nearly 20 conservation projects that span centuries of heritage and incorporate training and advocacy. WMFs presence in Peru began in 2010 with the creation of the WMF Peru Committee, led by Marcela Temple de Pérez de Cuéllar, wife of former UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, until her death in 2013.
Some of WMFs major projects in Peru include: the important baroque Church of San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas, south of Cusco; Huaca de la Luna, a Moche ceremonial structure near Trujillo; Chankillo, a pre-Colombian fortified temple complex in the Casma-Sechin Oasis in Ancash; and the colonial-era Convent of Santa Catalina that occupies a large portion of central Arequipa.
In addition to field projects, the World Monuments Watch advocacy program has provided opportunities to review the threats to the protection of more than 30 cultural heritage sites in Peru. WMF created strategies to assist in raising public awareness about these sites as well as developed solutions to sustain and protect the monuments.
From Americas Route 66 to the temples of Angkor, Cambodia, WMF not only preserves the worlds most important monuments, the organization also enhances local economies, creates educational opportunities, reinvigorates local traditions, promotes tourism, and helps communities and entire countries recognize their cultural and architectural treasures while enhancing national pride.