Protecting China's old architecture is a race against time
Today, one of the few organizations standing between architectural extinction and salvation is Global Heritage Fund, a California-based nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Jeff Morgan -- a Silicon Valley scion, and a 16-year veteran of that high-tech world himself -- and archaeological expert Ian Hodder.
Mr. Morgan, 43, switched careers after an old family friend, Steven McCormick, now the president and CEO of Nature Conservancy, suggested a job change. Having just cashed out of his second high-tech start-up, he took the advice to heart, launching this new venture that focuses on restoring endangered world heritage sites. In just four years, the organization has raised more than $5.2 million (plus an additional $4 million in matching funds from local governments) for 10 major sites world-wide, including the ruins of the Champa kingdom of the fourth to 13th centuries in My Son, Vietnam, and the ancient city of Kars, in Eastern Turkey, which dates back to the Ottoman Empire.
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