U.S. Helps Sri Lanka In Archaeological Excavation

US Ambassador Michele Sison and Dr. Senarath Dissanayake -- Director General Dept. of Archeology observe investigative cleaning on an artifact. (State Dept.)US Ambassador Michele Sison and Dr. Senarath Dissanayake — Director General Dept. of Archeology observe investigative cleaning on an artifact. (State Dept.)

  • The U.S. Embassy, through itsAmbassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation program, is granting $40,120 (approximately 5.3 million SLR) for the conservation of archeological materials to the Department of Archeology in Colombo, Sri Lanka today.  This project will promote new and enhanced conservation standards by building physical and professional capabilities to preserve and manage public archaeological collections.  This grant is one of nine AFCP grants that have been awarded to Sri Lanka since the program’s inception in 2001, and will benefit collections from both World Heritage Sites and national heritage archaeological sites.  The project is being done in partnership with curators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The conservation project will address artifacts unearthed from excavations that have been displayed and stored in various environments for up to seventy years without adequate conservation treatment, resulting in significant deterioration.  This project will assess current needs many artifacts collections; train conservation personnel; and provide trainees with practical instruction in examining, conserving and displaying archeological objects, such that these timeless pieces will be preserved for future generations.

US Ambassador Michele Sison, observes Athula Kusumsiri — Conservation Technician at work while Dr. Senarath Dissanayake — Director General, Dept. of Archeology, Dr. Nimal Perera – Director Excavations and Archeological Research Assistant Anusha Kasthuriarachchige look on. (State Dept.)

This year’s project was nominated by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, and is part of a commitment of nearly half a million dollars towards the protection and preservation of Sri Lankan culture.  “I am so pleased that these preservation efforts will benefit some of Sri Lanka’s most priceless artifacts,” said Ambassador Sison.  “The Fund for Cultural Preservation ensures that the Department of Archeology can continue to promote Sri Lanka’s rich, cultural heritage for future generations to appreciate.”  The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation was founded in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State to help developing countries preserve their cultural heritage.

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