U.S. Embassy Supports Preservation of Artifacts in Bukhara

On November 5, Ambassador Krol and the Director of the State Archeological and History Museum, Abdurashid Zakrilayev, inaugurated an exhibition of restored archeological artifacts at the Bukhara State Archeological and History Museum “Ark” in Bukhara.  Representatives from the Ministry of Sport and Culture of Uzbekistan, historians, restorers, U.S. Embassy employees, and journalists participated in the inauguration ceremony.

The U.S. Embassy provided a $50,600 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation grant for the preservation and conservation of archeological artifacts from the museum’s collection.  With these funds, the museum restored archeological artifacts from the Stone Age to late medieval times.  The artifacts were discovered over many decades during archeological excavations and research, and consist of ceramic objects, corroded coins, as well as wall paintings found at the Varahsha, Paykend, and Uchkulah archeological sites and many carved clay pieces from the Shahristan Fortress.

The project originally planned to restore 500 artifacts, but thanks to the support of this grant, 732 artifacts were restored.  The museum showcased a display of the restored pieces during the event.  Unique ancient artifacts and mass archeological materials that were stored without restoration in the museum are granted new life and are now on exhibit.

“Uzbekistan, while a relatively young state, is yet a country incredibly rich in history and culture, with deep traditions and an ancient soul.  It is truly a wise investment in the future stability of any country to understand and honor its past.  We are honored to help restore the objects at this museum in Bukhara, which have a great historical value and show the culture, everyday life and traditions of the people that lived on the territory of ancient Uzbekistan,” Ambassador Krol noted in his opening remarks.

Established by Congress in 2001 and administered by the U.S. Department of State, the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression in countries around the world.  Since its inception, the Fund has supported more than 500 cultural preservation projects in more than 100 developing countries.

TheAmbassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation has supported 11 projects in Uzbekistan focused on the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, the assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, the preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of traditional craft techniques.

The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent is currently accepting applications for the next round of AFCP grants.  The deadline is December 1, 2014.  For more information, please visit our website or email us at Tashkent-program@state.gov.