United States Announces $475,000 Cultural Preservation Grant for Great Zimbabwe National Monuments

Harare, November 6, 2018:  The United States Government, in cooperation with the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMZZ), has awarded a $475,000 grant to the World Monument Fund (WMF) for preservation work at the Great Zimbabwe national monuments.  Ambassador Brian A. Nichols signed the grant at a ceremony hosted by the NMMZ at the Great Zimbabwe national monuments in Masvingo.

This project celebrates Zimbabwe’s rich history and culture.  The United States is preparing to inaugurate a new American Embassy in early 2019.  The new embassy’s design, including curved walls and window placement, are reminiscent of Great Zimbabwe.  The project incorporates many locally-sourced materials including local brick, black granite, teak wood flooring, and indigenous landscape materials into the construction.  Artwork commissioned for the new embassy will celebrate both American and Zimbabwean cultures.

The funding, as part of the preservation work, will assist NMMZ to control the invasive weed species, lantana camara, which threatens to collapse parts of the dry stone walling at the site.  Working with local and international experts, the two organizations will develop a system and techniques to be implemented on a regular basis to control the invasive weed species.  The grant provides funding to improve data collection, knowledge of dry stone walling, and training of craftsmen and managers.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation assists individuals and organizations to preserve museum collections, ancient and historic sites, and traditional forms of expression, and thereby helping to reinforce cultural identity and community solidarity.  In the past decade, the United States has supported several projects to preserve Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage.  The projects have ranged in scope from the restoration of traditional art used to decorate buildings in Matebeleland, to the preservation of national monuments in Naletale, Matebelenand South and Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo.

In 2008, the United States Government provided funding for the installation of surveillance and security equipment at the Great Zimbabwe Museum to deter theft of valuable historical artifacts and cultural resources.

 

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