Asia Specialists: History and Heritage

Behind the Scenes Access to WMF Projects

The WMF (World Monuments Fund) was founded in 1965 and is the leading independent organization dedicated to saving the world’s most treasured places. One of WMF’s most important activities has been its work at Angkor, which began in 1989. WMF’s work began at Preah Khan and focused on documenting this important monastic complex, developing a conservation plan, improving visitor access, and most importantly emphasized training for young Cambodian architects, conservators, and site workers. WMF’s current major activity at Angkor is the conservation of Phnom Bakheng, one of the oldest temples in Angkor Archaeological Park.

Our guide is Ginevra Boatto who studied science and technology for cultural heritage at University of Padua, Italy. She earned her PhD in 2010 in the field of 3D virtual reconstruction of anthropological and archaeological heritage before joining a Cambodian NGO in Phnom Penh as management advisor. Ginevra finally joined World Monuments Fund in Cambodia at the beginning of 2012.

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Peranakan Perspectives

Displaying a rich blend of Chinese and Malay cultural aspects together with the varied influences of the time from the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Indian, Thai and Indonesian, the Peranakans are distinguished by their unique and colorful eclectic hybrid heritage. The private antique house of Mr Peter Wee (a fourth-generation Peranakan Singaporean and highly respected authority on all things Peranakan) is a good place to acquaint oneself with all the colors of the Peranakan cultural palette.

Guests can admire a cornucopia of gorgeous Peranakan antiques and collectibles from Peter’s private collections. Accompanied by Peter’s expert explanations and personal anecdotes, he takes visitors through the interior settings of the house as artefacts come alive and each person gains an intimate understanding of this unique culture.

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Architectural Walking Tour in Luang Prabang

Discover a fascinating heritage and masterful examples of both colonial and Laotian architecture that often go unseen in Luang Prabang. Francis Engelmann is a French writer and independent consultant living in Luang Prabang and is our guide on this insightful journey. Born in Paris in 1947, Francis has worked closely with UNESCO over the past 10 years. He also spent two years at the Luang Prabang Conservation Authority and assisted with ‘The Quiet in the Land’ art project in Luang Prabang.

Francis has lived in Asia for over 25 years and written many successful books and memoirs on his experiences here. He was deeply involved in the mission to enter Luang Prabang as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995 and is happy to answer any questions regarding this magnificent town. Embark on a cultural walking experience with Francis through one of Asia’s most pleasant and visually exquisite towns. The walk is oriented towards the lesser known parts of the town including remote, charming lanes that show the traditional atmosphere of Luang Prabang.

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