[Wiki Loves Monuments] Israel Update

Deror Avi deror_avi at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 2 08:10:00 UTC 2012

Dear All,

As was previously updated, Israel will participate this year in the WLM competition. We wish to update you with our progress.

Our first objective was to try and obtain a list of national monuments. 
This proved to be much more difficult than originally anticipated. 
According to Israeli antiquities law, any building or object created or 
built before 1700 is a protected archeological object. Buildings which 
were built afterwards were not protected. After the demolishing of the 
Herzaliya Gymnasium in 1962 [1], and following public protests, the National Council for Preservation of 
Heritage Sites was created. This body did not have any legal capacity to protect landmarks, and worked at advancing public awareness of national heritage sites. Only in 2011 was legislation passed protecting such 
landmarks. According to the legislation, the National Council will 
create lists of protected sites which will approved by the local 
municipalities in order to come into force. This resulted in local 
politics being involved, and most of the lists were never approved due 
to local economic interests.

We approached the Council, and requested their 
co-operation. We have held several meetings with the Council, and 
eventually convinced them to join us in the project. (One of the 
difficulties was that the Council itself has an annual photography 
competition, and the WLM would compete with it.) Upon receiving the 
blessing of the general manager of the National Council, we discovered that the Council itself does not have the lists 
of monuments. With the assistance of the Council, and after a week of 
searching, they were able to locate some of the lists, which are 
uploaded to the project page on Wikipedia [2].

This will be the first time that the list of national monuments will be available online to the Israeli public.

We have also contacted several sponsors, and currently await their decision to sponsor the competition.

We have contacted the largest local amateur 
photography school, and asked it to sponsor some of the events we are 
planning as part of the competition. We will further update once these 
events are finalized. 



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herzliya_Hebrew_Gymnasium
[2] http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%95%D7%A7:WLM:list
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