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World Monument

Africa Travel Association's Prestige Magazine to publish a "GRAND TOUR "OF UGANDA” edition for this important event, with long-term, worldwide distribution as a follow-up!

World Monument in Uganda

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Local Landmark is one of 19 sites worldwide selected forgrand awards as part of World Monuments Watch program
American Express Company and the World Monuments fund announced that the Masaka Cathedral in Kitovu Village will receive $25,000 as one of 19 sites selected for funding by American Express in the third round of grants awarded under the world Monuments Watch program and is list of 100 Most endangered Sites. The 'endangered species list" of historic sites worldwide is issued every two years by the World Monuments Fund to draw attention to irreplaceable cultural heritage sites in immediate peril. Brother Flora Martin first designed and built the Masaka Diocesan Cathedral in 1927. It became the cathedral of the first African Catholic Bishop from Sub-Sahara Africa when Dr. Joseph Kiwanuka served as Bishop of the diocese from 1939 to 1961. Because of this appointment, the cathedral also became the first autonomous African church within the Catholic community, standing as the dominant cultural force as well as the preeminent religious shrine of all of Uganda.

Today, however, harsh weather conditions, earthquake, the simple construction materials used, and the lack of maintenance, brought the church to a dire state of deterioration Emergency technical assistance provided by this grant will serve to remove and replace the entire roof, as well as other architectural elements, contributing to the vulnerability of the structure.

The award was made to the Diocese of Masaka, by Ihab Zaghoul, American Express Regional Manager, in a ceremony held at the Masaka Cathedral in Kitovu. Commenting on the donation, Mr. Zaghoul said," The presence of the Masaka Cathedral on the World Monuments Watch List of Most Endangered Sites, tells us that if we do not act quickly to save it, the cathedral, with its religious and cultural treasures, will not be here for future generations to enjoy. We believe that the preservation of the world's great monuments and sites is essential to the well-being of our communities."

"And because they are key motivators for travel," continued Mr. Zaghoul, "we also believe that monuments and sites are essential to the future of travel and tourism, an industry in which American Express is a world leader and has a vital state. That is why we are so committed to World Monuments Watch and we are proud to be the partner of the world Monuments Fund in this initiative."

The Masaka Cathedral was included on the 1998-1999 list of 100 Moist Endangered Sites. So far over $8 million has been committed to aid sites on the Lists. This amount includes $3 Million in grants from American Express and $5 million leveraged from other corporations, foundations and individuals, as a result of the World Monuments Watch.

Other African sites on the 1998-1999 List are the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin; the Mortuary Temple of King Alumenhotep III IN Luxor, Egypt; the Mentewab Qwesqwam Palace in Gondar, Ethiopia; and James Island, the Gambia. The second list was announced in September 1997 and a third list will be announced at the end of 1999.

Uganda, Masaka Cathedral prior to restoration, '97. Photo. Diocese of MasakaMali, Djenné-Djeno Archaeological Site, Djenné. Photo R. McintoshDetails: For further information on the Masaka Cathedral project please contact: Fr. Peter Bakka in Masaka, Kitovu, Uganda.- 256.481.20008, fax 256.481.20732.

Further details: Martha Flach, New York, NY, USA212-517-9376, fax 212-517.9494
James Tobin, London, UK. 44-171-976-4540, fax 44-171-931-0433
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