Sept 13, Colombo: Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura, the oldest and largest archaeological museum under control of the Department of Archaeology of Sri Lanka, was opened to the public yesterday after preservation.
The preservation of artifacts at the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum was funded by a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy in Colombo through the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). In addition, the Central Cultural Fund and the Treasury's Consolidated Fund had also contributed to the funding of the renovation activities.
The Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum was established on July 7, 1960 and the Department of Archeology has been conserving the site from time to time.
In response to a request made by the Archeology Department the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, as part of its continuing efforts to preserve Sri Lanka's cultural and religious heritage provided the $150,000 grant in 2015 to improve the storage and preservation of artifacts at the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum.
The U.S. Embassy previously supported the Museum, one of Sri Lanka's most visited, with grants in 2009 and 2012.
The Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) and the Sri Lanka Army have contributed to the renovation.
The Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year, houses more than 600 valuable artifacts for public viewing.
U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz, Director General of the Department of Archeology B. Mandawala, and former Director General of Archeology Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala attended the event.
Ambassador Teplitz said the Ambassador's fund for cultural preservation is one way that the United States supports Sri Lanka's efforts to preserve its culture and sovereignty and the "museum demonstrates our appreciation of and respect for Sri Lanka’s culture and our enduring partnership."
She noted that experts from the Metropolitan University for Arts in New York City have trained the Department of Archaeology Conservation staff to apply preventive conservation treatment to important objects since 2016.