Aug 19, Colombo: The United States Embassy in Colombo today granted US$40,120 (approximately 5.3 million rupees) to Sri Lanka's Department of Archeology for the conservation of archeological materials.
This project will promote new and enhanced conservation standards by building physical and professional capabilities to preserve and manage public archaeological collections.
The grant, made through its Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation program, is one of nine AFCP grants that have been awarded to Sri Lanka since the program's inception in 2001, and will benefit collections from both World Heritage Sites and national heritage archaeological sites.
US Ambassador Michele Sison, observes Conservation Technician Athula Kusumsiri at work while Director General, Deptartment of Archeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake, Director Excavations Dr. Nimal Perera, and Archeological Research Assistant Anusha Kasthuriarachchige look on.
The project is being done in partnership with curators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The conservation project will address artifacts unearthed from excavations that have been displayed and stored in various environments for up to seventy years without adequate conservation treatment, resulting in significant deterioration.
This project will assess current needs many artifacts collections; train conservation personnel; and provide trainees with practical instruction in examining, conserving and displaying archeological objects, such that these timeless pieces will be preserved for future generations.
This year's project was nominated by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, and is part of a commitment of nearly half a million dollars towards the protection and preservation of Sri Lankan culture.
"I am so pleased that these preservation efforts will benefit some of Sri Lanka's most priceless artifacts," said Ambassador Sison.
"The Fund for Cultural Preservation ensures that the Department of Archeology can continue to promote Sri Lanka's rich, cultural heritage for future generations to appreciate," she said.
The Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation was founded in 2001by the U.S. Department of State to help developing countries preserve their cultural heritage.