U.S. Ambassador Peter W. Bodde announced two Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) awards totaling $320,000. The grants will support structural assessments, stabilization, and restoration of historic sites in Lalitpur and Kathmandu that were damaged by the April 25 earthquake.
At a special ceremony, Ambassador Bodde awarded the grants to Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) to help restore sites in Patan and Kathmandu Durbar Squares that had been previously restored with support from the AFCP. These grants are an important part in the recovery of Nepal's treasured cultural heritage sites.
“For more than two decades, the U.S. embassy has supported efforts to mitigate the impact of natural disasters in Nepal,” said Ambassador Bodde at the event. “These restoration initiatives in Kathmandu Durbar Square, and here in Patan Durbar Square, will help preserve some of the world’s most significant intact historic urban sites.”
"The recovery period from earthquakes and other natural disasters can be long, especially where cultural heritage is concerned. The proper restoration, and in some cases, reconstruction of Nepal's ancient and historic sites will take time. We recognize that fact and continue to respect and support Nepal's cultural heritage recovery priorities and goals," said Martin Perschler, the Program Director of the U.S. State Department’s AFCP.
According to Public Affairs Section Embassy of the United States, established by the U.S. Department of State at the request of the U.S. Congress, the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation supports the preservation of ancient and historic sites, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 120 countries. Since 2003, the AFCP has invested over $2.2 million in the preservation of Nepal's cultural heritage, with fifteen projects already completed.