The Xuminshan grottos lie on the eastern
side of Mount Xumi. The grottoes were adorned with statues, wall paintings, and
inscribed stelae during a 600-year period between the fourth and tenth centuries
Although the Xumishan Grottoes have been designated a National Level Cultural
Relic Protected Site in China, they face imminent danger due to natural causes,
including wind and sand erosion, water damage, and earthquakes.
Previous emergency conservation measures, including reconstruction of some
elements in concrete, also need to be reconsidered and possibly reversed.
China's State Bureau of Cultural Relics is eager to protect the site and
hopes that placement on the 2008 Watch List will not only increase public
awareness of the importance of Xumishan, but also encourage international
efforts to preserve this magnificent, yet little-known site, WMF said.
The 2008 Watch List includes a number of sites threatened by global warming,
among which are Sonargaon-Panam City, Bangladesh, Leh Old Town, Ladakh, India
and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
The cultural heritage sites of Iraq are on the 2008 Watch List as a
whole.When asked about whether it is possible to protect the Iraqi cultural
heritage during the warfare, WMF President Bonnie Burnham said she did not
personally think Iraq is out of reach, and her organization was working along
with the local Iraqi government on this.
The Bamiyan Buddhas, Afghanistan destroyed in 2001 was listed this year.
Burnham's explanation was though the colossal Buddhas had gone, the remains were
still a main tourist destination.