Addis Ababa, December 14, 2016: The Embassy of the United States of America today opened a two-day workshop on “Sustainable Conservation and Cultural Heritage Preservation” in collaboration with the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) and the World Monuments Fund (WMF). At the opening ceremony, workshop participants witnessed a grant signing between ARCCH and WMF for a preservation project at Lalibela.
In the presence of the U.S. EmbassyCharge d’Affaires Peter Vrooman and H.E. Dr. Hirut Wolde Mariam, ARCCH and WMF signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a $500,000 dollar grant from the U.S. Embassy to preserve the churches of Biet Golgotha and Michael Churches in Lalibela under the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) program. AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world. In Ethiopia, the U.S. Embassy has supported eight AFCP projects since 2002.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Charge d’Affaires Vrooman noted that the workshop on Sustainable Conservation and Cultural Heritage Preservation provides a timely opportunity to highlight the practices, approaches, and technical methodologies needed to preserve Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage. He stated that “the U.S. government’s support for the restoration of the churches at Lalibela demonstrates our respect for the cultural heritage of the people of Ethiopia. By working collaboratively to protect these heritage sites and to share best practices, we train and empower a new generation of conservation experts who can apply innovative methodologies and techniques to safeguard Ethiopia’s heritage for future generations. ”