The Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund, founded by ASTA and Croatia's Atlas
Travel, will shut down by year's end.
Queen Noor of Jordan addressed the ASTA congress in Los
There is a link between these two events.
The 6-year-old Dubrovnik project raised about $400,000 and
completed all its tasks but one: restoration of the Library of the
Franciscan Monastery, which has been identified by the World
Monuments Watch as one of the globe's 100 most endangered
culturally significant sites.
The Watch will take over that project using its own resources
combined with the last of the money raised by the Dubrovnik Fund. A
recently unearthed temple at Petra in Jordan also was named to the
list of endangered sites.
Queen Noor, whose speech was sponsored by American Express,
accepted a $50,000 contribution to the Watch from the travel
company. It is earmarked for protection of the Petra temple and the
first century trading center where it stands.
(By the way, the queen was an impressive representative for
Jordan--and we learned her first paying job in college was at a
It is not often we can pursue our selfish interests and be
crusaders for a good cause, too. This is one of those times. The
good cause, as you can guess, is the World Monuments Watch, created
two years ago as part of the 33-year-old World Monuments Fund.
American Express was a founding sponsor of the Watch and has
pledged $5 million.
Every two years, the Watch identifies the 100 Most Endangered
Sites, culturally important places in danger because of a
catastrophe or because of some longer-term threat, and it works to
provide urgent funding for their rescue.
It is in our interest to support the effort. Monuments that
range in age from a few decades to thousands of years, monuments
that are beautiful or merely evocative because of what happened in
or near them, these are the kind of things that inspire many a
client to leave home--and to consult an agent first.
We in the industry are not immune to the charms of these
attractions, either. At ASTA, we were treated to a film
highlighting Jordon's major sites, and I--having seen nothing of
Jordan but Petra--hope to find time to see those places.
The address for the World Monuments Fund is 949 Park Ave., New
York 10028-0307. For further information about contributing or
participating in a silent auction to benefit the fund, the phone
number is (800) 547-9171, and the Web site is www.world
I would be remiss in not appending the information that will
enable readers to send checks. As soon as I am reunited with my
checkbook, I will practice what I preach.