US grants for 13 cultural conservation sites - Teplitz | Daily News


 

Ambassador opens renovated Anuradhapura Museum

US grants for 13 cultural conservation sites - Teplitz

United States Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz who re-opened the Anuradhapura Archaeology museum  on Thursday is seen inspecting some of the items of great historical and archaeological value on display. Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional District Group
United States Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz who re-opened the Anuradhapura Archaeology museum on Thursday is seen inspecting some of the items of great historical and archaeological value on display. Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional Di

The Anuradhapura Archaeology museum was re-opened by United States Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz on Thursday after renovation for which the United States has granted financial aid worth Rs. 24.2 million.

Addressing the gathering at the inauguration the Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz emphasised that she marvelled at the ancient stupas, shrines and other cultural monuments of great historical and archaeological value throughout the Sri Lanka, indicating the country’s rich cultural and religious history. She pointed out that preserving this history would ensure that young Sri Lankans stay true to their glorious past and the visitors from all over the world could better understand today’s Sri Lanka by experiencing its past.

“The Ambassador’s fund for cultural preservation (AFCP) is one way the United States support Sri Lanka’s untiring efforts to preserve its culture and sovereignty and we are proud that thanks to the AFCP grants the Archaeology Department has been able to preserve the valuable artifacts in Anuradhapura Archaeology museum for future generation. The particular AFCP funding system has helped to preserve and protect sites and building structures in the country such as the Dutch Forts of Batticaloa and Galle and also the Archaeological museum laboratories at like one of the Jaffna University. Also there is a AFCP site at monasteries at Payagala and we are working hard for the preservation of other types of national heritage as well like traditional arts, music, dance, crafts and indigenous languages the US Ambassador stated further.

Ambassador Teplitz further said that the Sri Lanka has won 13 AFCP grants totalling more than one million dollars underscoring the United States deep respect and admiration for Sri Lankan history and culture and AFCP awards were extremely competitive with high quality applications submitted from countries in the world.

According to the US Ambassador, the AFCP grants to Anuradhapura Archaeology museum project included $30,000 to help catalogue the museum collection, $40,000 to conserve the museum collection and train the archaeology staff and, $150,000 to create a safe environment for conserved artifacts. In addition, the experts from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York have offered training for the archaeological conservation staff to apply preventive conservation treatment to museum objects since 2016.

The US Ambassador quoted the American Author Steve Berry as once saying: “a concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies of all things that quite make us who we are”. She emphasized that the US Embassy was delighted to be able to help preserve Sri Lanka’s dynamic heritage.

Director General of Archaeology Prof Prashantha Mandawala said that the commencement of the country’s archaeological activities dated back to 7th July 18909 when the Commissioner H C P Bell began the excavations at the Anuradhapura Y road junction with one supervisor and 20 labourers. The Anuradhapura archaeology museum was opened on 7th July 1960 after 70 years of the inauguration of the department.

The Additional Secretary of the Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs Ministry G Vijithanandha Kumara also addressed the audience.

The Mahasangha including Ruwanweli Chethiyaramadhipathi Ven.Pallegama Hemarathana conducted the religious observances joined by other religious clergy.


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