Provincial Council Buildings on world watch list

The earthquake-hit Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings have been placed on a world list of sites to ensure they are saved.

One of the earliest Gothic Revival complexes of government buildings, they have been included on the World Monuments Fund watch list.

The fund is dedicated to saving the world's most treasured places.

Based in New York, it has helped preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites in more than 90 countries.

The category 1 registered buildings were constructed from the late 1850s as the seat of the provincial government of Canterbury.

The buildings were extensively damaged in the September and February quakes.

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust has confirmed the buildings were placed on the list.

Trust southern region general manager Malcolm Duff said the chamber's interior, in particular, was held in high acclaim worldwide. "In a New Zealand context, the [buildings] are unique and to see them in their current state is very sad indeed."

The trust was delighted with the listing.

Duff said it would raise the profile of the "iconic" landmark's plight at an international level, help with fundraising initiatives and attract expert help to restore the buildings.

The Press