Koagannu secures place in World Monument Fund watch list

Koagannu Cemetery | Photo: Unknown

Meedhoo, Addu City – World Monuments Fund has named Koagannu, the oldest cemetery in the Maldives, on its 2022 World Monuments Watch.

The New-York based non-profit named Koagannu on its watch list, among 24 other historic and heritage sites for a period of two years. These 25 locations were handpicked by the organisation from among 225 nominations.

Spanning 24 countries across 6 continents, the places nominated reflect the diversity of our world’s cultural treasures, their significant heritage, and the global contemporary challenges they face.

World Monuments Fund, 2022

The World Monuments Fund described the Koagannu mosques and cemetery as “a historic waterfront cemetery with distinct coral-stone architecture” and explained that it “is threatened by rapidly raising seas”, highlighting the urgent need for adaptive preservation solutions

Located in the Meedhoo ward of Addu City, Koagannu is said to be the first cemetery allocated for Muslims in the country during the transition period from Buddhism to Islam and is believed to be at least 900 years old with over 1,500 tombstones including several religiously significant persons of the country.

The Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage describes this nomination as an immense honor for Addu as well as the entire country.

Alongside being named in the WMF watch list, the ‘fan’diyaaru’ mosque inside Koagannu is among the mosques proposed by the Maldives to be placed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.