U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Awards for 2009 Support Projects at Eight World Heritage Sites

Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 25, 2009

The restoration of the intricately carved stone sculpture of the Tusha Hiti and Bhandarkhal Tank at the Patan Royal Palace in Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of eight projects at World Heritage Sites to receive financial support from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in 2009.

Established by Congress in 2001 and administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cultural Heritage Center, AFCP provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression in countries around the world. Since its inception, the Fund has demonstrated America’s respect for the cultural heritage of other countries by supporting more than 500 cultural preservation projects in more than 100 countries.

The Nepal projects are exquisite examples of 17th-century water architecture. The Tusha Hiti and Bhandarkhal Tank are among the crowning artistic achievements of the Malla kings, whose patronage of the arts marked the height of Nepalese culture. The project to restore the stone sculpture is part of a larger effort of the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust to preserve the palace complex and reopen its courtyards, gardens, and other spaces to the public. The Patan Royal Palace is part of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.

Other projects within World Heritage Sites that AFCP will support in 2009 are:

· Restoration of a gallery in the 13th-century citadel of Gjirokastra in southern Albania
· Restoration of the early 20th-century palace of Teferi Mekonnen in Harar Jugol, Ethiopia
· Restoration of a 14th-century courtyard house in the ancient ksour (trading center) of Oualata, Mauritania
· Preventive conservation of the national museum building, a former royal palace of the King of Laos, in Luang Prabang
· Preservation of the Remains of the 13th-century Franciscan monastery in Kotor, Montenegro
· Documentation of the site of the 16th-century Turei Zahav (Golden Rose) Synagogue and associated buildings in L’viv, Ukraine
· Preservation of the 18th-century Friday Palace Mosque in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

The Cultural Heritage Center supports the foreign affairs functions of the Department that relate to the preservation of cultural heritage. In addition to AFCP, the Center administers U.S. responsibilities relating to the 1970 UNESCO Convention to reduce pillage and illicit trafficking in cultural property. Information on the Fund is available at exchanges.state.gov/afcp/.

Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, (202) 203-5107 or StearnsCL@state.gov

PRN: 200/644