US grants aid for preservation of Kashidhoo archaeological site

Friday, October 24th, 2008

American Ambassador to Maldives and Sri Lanka Robert Blake, Jr. and Special Advisor to the National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research, Madulhu Mohamed Waheed have recently launched a U.S. Government funded program to help preserve the K. Kashidhoo archaeological site , according to statement issued by US Embassy in Colombo.

The statement informed that the project valued at Rf. 370,000 is financed by the 2008 U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, a worldwide initiative of the U.S State Department to assist countries in preserving their endangered historic sites and arts.

Kaafu atoll Kashidhoo archaeological site is one of the most historically significant on the island. It is the largest pre-Islamic remnant uncovered on Kaashidhoo; excavations have uncovered parts of a Buddhist Monastery that existed in the 7th and 8th Centuries AD. The project focuses on conserving the area that has already been excavated, helping to protect the site from erosion and weathering. Since the site is built almost entirely of coral stone, the conservation work is essential to making sure that generations of Maldivians can continue to view this important site, US Embassy statement expressed.

Since 2001, the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation has supported more than 500 projects worldwide. This is the second grant Maldives has received from the U.S. government in order to preserve a Maldivian cultural site. In 2005, the United States contributed roughly Rf. 280,000 for the restoration and conservation of Eid Mosque located in Male’.

After exchanging the documents pertaining to the grant with Madulhu Waheed, Ambassador Blake said, “I congratulate all those who are involved in this project. We wish you continued success in the preservation of the important cultural heritage of the Maldives. We at the Embassy are proud to play an integral role in this important project.”

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