Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 29, 2009


The conservation of the Sacred City of Caral in the Supe Valley of Peru is one of three large-scale partnership-based cultural heritage preservation projects to receive financial support from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in 2009.

Established by Congress in 2001 and administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cultural Heritage Center, AFCP provides direct grants to contribute to the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 countries. Since its inception, the Fund has demonstrated America’s respect for the cultural heritage of others by supporting more than 550 cultural preservation projects worldwide.

Contemporaneous with the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India, the Sacred City of Caral (3000-1800 BC) is often called the “mother culture” of the Americas. The designs of its earthworks and buildings speak to the technological know-how and organizational complexity of Supe society. The $800,000 AFCP award to the Proyecto Especial Arqueológico Caral-Supe will support the preservation of several structures and technical training in the conservation of stone and other materials.

The two other AFCP awards for large-scale projects in 2009 are:

$900,000 to the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust to help restore the Patan Royal Palace in Nepal, one of South Asia’s most intact historic urban royal ensembles. Major earthquakes in 1833 and 1934 and decades of neglect and disuse have left their mark on the palace. The project involves multiple activities to restore this World Heritage Site to its former glory and to prepare the complex for public access.

$650,000 to the Cultural Heritage Protection Office of the Republic of Macedonia in support of the restoration of the 13th-century monastery of the Holy Mother of God Peribleptos, a centuries-old Orthodox pilgrimage site in the World Heritage City of Ohrid. The monastery’s extensive array of late Byzantine frescoes—the earliest known documented works of the Thessalonian painters Michael and Eutychius—requires immediate treatment to prevent irreversible loss.

The Cultural Heritage Center supports the foreign affairs functions of the Department that relate to the preservation of cultural heritage. In addition to the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the Center administers U.S. responsibilities relating to the 1970 UNESCO Convention to reduce pillage and illicit trafficking in cultural property. Information on the Fund is available at exchanges.state.gov/afcp/.

Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, (202) 203-5107 or StearnsCL@state.gov



PRN: 2009/973