US helps preserve Turkmenistan’s cultural heritage

ASHGABAT (TCA) — U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan Allan Mustard will visit Mary province on May 16 to take part in the closing ceremony for restoration and conservation of the Greater and Lesser Gyz Gala monuments in Ancient Merv, supported by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). The ceremony will be held at Gyz Gala, with the participation of embassy officials, representatives from the National Department for Protection, Research, and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments under the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan, and local officials.

The Gyz Gala fortresses are part of the Ancient Merv State Historical and Cultural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings are monumental mudbrick köshks (a Khorasani word for “castle” or “fortress”) renowned for their massive scale and their unique corrugated walls. In 2012, the AFCP program awarded a multi-year grant for the partial restoration and conservation of these renowned fortresses. The selection of this project demonstrates the regard in which the project is held by the U.S. Government and the strength of the partner organization in Turkmenistan, the US Embassy in Ashgabat said.

AFCP is an annual grant competition administered by the U.S. Department of State, dedicated to preserving cultural heritage. The U.S. Embassy has a long-standing relationship with Turkmenistan’s historical institutions and has supported 25 cultural preservation projects since 2001, more than in any other country in the world. With the 25th project awarded earlier this year to support restoration at the Dayahatyn Caravanserai, AFCP has invested over $1.5 million to support the preservation of Turkmenistan’s culture and historical sites.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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