Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 16, 2016 –In the presence of the U.S. Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach; His Holiness Aba Matias and H.E. Minister Aisha Mohammed, the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage and World Monuments Fund signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a grant provided by the U.S. Government that will enable a needs assessment for the preservation of Yemrehanna Christos Church. The grant, in the amount of $150,000, was provided through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, which is an annual competitive program of the U.S. Department of State.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Haslach noted that the grant will help carry out the study by doing a needs assessment for the preservation of Yemrehanna Kristos, an important historical landmark for the people of Ethiopia, and of the world. Ambassador Haslach pointed out that Lalibela in general and Yemrehanna Christos in particular are places of historical significance in the world. She added, “My government’s support for the restoration of Yemrehanna Kristos demonstrates our respect for the cultural heritage of the people of Ethiopia. I strongly believe that this project will draw attention to the recognition by the people of the United States of America of a site which is not only a part of Ethiopia’s national historic heritage, but also a symbol of Ethiopian civilization dating from the 11th and 12th centuries.”