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* United States support for Sri Lankan cultural preservation
Fri, Aug 8, 2014, 08:34 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 08, Colombo: The United States Embassy in Colombo today announced the visit of Dr. Martin Perschler, Director of the State Department's Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), to Sri Lanka this week.

Dr. Perschler is in Sri Lanka for a series of engagements with Sri Lankan cultural heritage preservation professionals, including visits to AFCP-funded projects in Rajagala, Batticaloa, and Anuradhapura, the Embassy said in a release.

"Dr. Perschler's visit signifies the longstanding U.S. support for preserving Sri Lanka's unique archaeological sites and cultural heritage," the Embassy said.

Dr. Perschler directs the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation in the Cultural Heritage Center, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

The AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 countries around the world. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.

Since 2005 the U.S. has spent over US$ 575,000 to support cultural preservation projects in Sri Lanka, in partnership with Sri Lankan government and private sector entities.

The AFCP most recently granted US$100,000 towards a project with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2013 to conserve the ancient monuments within the Rajagala Buddhist Monastery Archaeological Reserve in the Ampara District. The fund, with the Department of Archaeology and Environmental Planning Service Ltd supported a project in 2013 to preserve and restore Building B of the Batticaloa Dutch Fort and create a Cultural Resource Management Center for the multi-ethnic and multi-religious community of Batticaloa.

Other AFCP projects in Sri Lanka included a project in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology in 2012 to promote conservation of artifacts from World Heritage Sites and national museums, including assessing museum equipment and training.

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