World Monuments Fund Demands NSW Government Listen to Heritage Experts
Sirius added to World Monuments Fund 2018 Watch List
Today, in New York the World Monument Fund (WMF), the leading independent organization devoted to saving important cultural heritage sites around the world. since 1965, has listed Sirius on their 2018 Watch List.
Every two years since 1996, the World Monuments Watch issues a call to action for treasured cultural heritage sites around the globe. This year, the WMF has called for the NSW Government to respect the recommendation of its heritage experts and list Sirius on the NSW Heritage Register.
Sirius has been added to the 2018 World Monuments Watch List, which includes only 25 sites representing a wide variety of challenges ranging from human conflict and urbanization to natural disaster and climate change.
Shaun Carter, Save Our Sirius Chairperson said “Today’s announcement by the World Monuments Fund to place Sirius on their watch list demonstrates the architectural and social significance of Sirius.
- Sirius has been included on The Worlds Monuments Watch List – one of only 25 sites worldwide.
- The 2018 World Monuments Watch calls on the government of New South Wales to respect the recommendation of its heritage experts and allow its citizens to maintain an important social legacy.
- Myra will soon be the last person living in Sirius.
- The story of Sirius and its residents are the focus of a new book Sirius – which will be launched by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore on 8th November at Kinokuniya. More details at www.saveoursirius.org/thebook
Heritage Timeline of Sirius
- In February 2016, the Heritage Council of New South Wales issued a unanimous recommendation for the listing of the Sirius Building, for its architectural and cultural significance.
- In July 2016, the Minister of Environment and Heritage rejected the recommendation, on the grounds that protective designation would diminish the building’s expected sale price, constituting undue financial hardship for the government.
- In July 2017, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales invalidated this rationale and ordered the state government to repeat the decision-making process.
- Currently, the Government is reserving their right to appeal the decision.
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World Monuments Fund Press Release
World Monuments Fund Press Kit
2018 World Monuments Watch – Sirius Building
A Brutalist icon, the Sirius Building was the product of environmental and social activism that left its mark on Sydney during the 1970s. Redevelopment of The Rocks, an adjacent harbour front neighbourhood, was threatening to displace long-time residents. In response to community protests and the celebrated “Green Bans” movement, the Sirius Building was built in Millers Point, as public housing for local community members. It has since become an iconic sight along the approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with a rising, pyramidal composition of stacked concrete boxes topped by rooftop gardens. The building was designed by architect Tao Gofers for the New South Wales Housing Commission and contained 79 units, some enjoying unobstructed views of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House.
Millers Point, one of Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood’s, was once the city’s maritime centre. In the early twentieth century, it came under the control of the state of New South Wales, and has since then contained public housing, including Australia’s first. But as Sydney has grown into a global metropolis, Millers Point itself is now prime real estate. In 2014, the state government of New South Wales announced that it would sell hundreds of public housing properties in Millers Point and The Rocks, expecting to receive A$500 million, to be used for the construction of new public housing elsewhere. This was the latest among many sell-offs of government-owned properties during the previous decade. In preparation for the sale of the building, most of its residents were relocated, and only two residents now remain.
In February 2016, the Heritage Council of New South Wales issued a unanimous recommendation for the listing of the Sirius Building, for its architectural and cultural significance. But in July of that year, the Minister of Environment and Heritage rejected the recommendation, on the grounds that protective designation would diminish the building’s expected sale price, constituting undue financial hardship for the government. In July 2017, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales invalidated this rationale and ordered the state government to repeat the decision-making process. The government, however, continues to defend its decision and has appealed the ruling. In anticipation of a final legal outcome, advocates maintain their call for the Sirius Building to be preserved as public housing, arguing that it should continue to serve the public in a cost-effective way. The 2018 World Monuments Watch calls on the government of New South Wales to respect the recommendation of its heritage experts and allow its citizens to maintain an important social legacy.
Visit wmf.org/2018watch to learn more.
About World Monuments Watch
World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving important cultural heritage sites around the world. It was founded in 1965.
Every two years (since 1996), the World Monuments Watch becomes a call to action for cultural heritage around the globe that is at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change.
The Watch is World Monuments Fund’s primary advocacy program. It brings international attention to the challenges facing cultural heritage sites and their communities around the globe.
Inclusion on the Watch provides nominators and site owners with an important opportunity to promote sites locally and internationally, to work towards improved site protection, and to build community engagement in their preservation efforts.
The 2018 World Monuments Watch includes 25 sites in more than 30 countries and territories.
American Express is the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch.
2018 Watch Sites
2. Government House, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
3. Sirius Building, Millers Point, Sydney, Australia
4. Ramal Talca-Constitución, Talca Province, Chile
5. Grand Theater, Prince Kung’s Mansion, Beijing, China
6. Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt
7. Takiyyat of al-Gulshani, Cairo, Egypt
8. Potager du Roi, Versailles, France
9. Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, India
10. Al-Hadba’ Minaret, Mosul, Iraq
11. Lifta, Jerusalem, Israel
12. Amatrice, Italy
13. Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
14. Jewish Quarter of Essaouira, Morocco
15. Sukur Cultural Landscape, Madagali Local Government Area, Nigeria
16. Historic Karachi, Pakistan
17. Cerro de Oro, Cañete Valley, Peru
18. Tebaida Leonesa, El Bierzo, León, Spain
19. Souk of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria
20. Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand
21. Blackpool Piers, Blackpool, United Kingdom
22. Buffalo Central Terminal, Buffalo, New York, United States
23. Alabama Civil Rights Sites, Alabama, United States
24. Old City of Ta’izz, Ta’izz, Yemen
25. Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape, Matobo, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe