U.S. embassy awards grant to restore Silk Road site in Turkmenistan

ASHGABAT (TCA) — U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan Allan Mustard on August 30 awarded a $72,560 grant to the National Administration for the Preservation, Study, and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments of Turkmenistan to restore and conserve the unique Silk Road caravanserai at Dayahatyn, the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat said.

Through this award, the U.S. Embassy and its partners will undertake a second phase of restoration at the site, repairing the northeastern walls and making it more accessible to visitors. This follows the successful completion of a project in 2016 to shore up the caravanserai’s walls and arched domes. Experts consider the structure a one-of-a-kind example of pre-Mongol architecture; it was recently nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This will be the 25th project in Turkmenistan to receive an Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) grant. The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat has worked with the Government of Turkmenistan and other partners to undertake 25 historical and cultural preservation projects worth more than $1.5 million across the country, under the auspices of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Through this program, the U.S. Embassy has helped preserve ancient Silk Road sites, centuries-old crafts and carpets, folk music, and Turkmen manuscripts.

Since 2001, the National Administration for the Preservation, Study, and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments of Turkmenistan has successfully worked on 13 of the 25 AFCP projects in Turkmenistan, including a large grant for the preservation and restoration of the Greater Gyz Gala fortress in Ancient Merv.

As Ambassador Mustard said at the event, “I am very proud that the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat plays a leading role in the efforts to preserve Turkmenistan’s cultural heritage. We honor and respect Turkmen culture. This project is a symbol of our enduring partnership. We hope to see more collaboration and cooperation like this in the future.”

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Times of Central Asia