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2007-2008 World Heritage News & Events

Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Awards

The U.S. Mission to UNESCO is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ 2007 U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation awards will support 57 projects in 54 countries, including several projects in or generally related to UNESCO World Heritage sites. Created by Congress in 2001, the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation assists less developed countries preserve museum collections, ancient and historic sites, and traditional forms of expression, helping to reinforce cultural identity and community solidarity.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation provides an opportunity for U.S. Embassies to directly demonstrate America’s respect for the cultural heritage of host countries, and to play an active role in protecting those heritages. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded 436 preservation grants in 119 countries. This year, it will fund projects in or generally related to 9 World Heritage sites, in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kenya, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

The 2007 projects include the conservation of museum collections, restoration of historic buildings, preservation of archaeological sites, and documentation of forms of traditional expression such as music, including:

  • Conservation of Pashto, Arabic, and Persian manuscripts dating back to the 16th century in the Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Provision of tools for site management of the ancient city and World Heritage site of Busra in Syria, the northern capital of the Nabataean Empire in the 2nd century BC, which contains evidence from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods
  • Restoration of the 18th-century Maria Magdalena Church, the oldest building in the province of Madriz, Nigaragua
  • Conservation of over 200 Buddha statues in the Museum of Vietnamese History in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Documentation of Romani culture and music that has been passed down through generations for six centuries in Romania
  • Preservation of artifacts at the Henriette Bathily Women’s Museum on the World Heritage site of Goree Island, Senegal

The Cultural Heritage Center of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. Through a range of cultural preservation activities, the Bureau promotes cooperation with other countries reducing the threat of pillage of irreplaceable cultural heritage, and developing educational initiatives and other long-term strategies for preserving cultural property.