U.S. State Department reconstructs mosque in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 14 / Trend H.Hasanov /
The U.S. Embassy and the Turkmen government marked the official opening of the newly renovated Shir-Kebir (Mashad Ata) Mosque on Sept.13, the U.S. embassy in Ashgabat reported.
Located in the Dekhistan archaeological park, the Shir-Kebir Mosque is the oldest standing mosque in Turkmenistan. The renovations and conservation efforts at the 9th century mosque were sponsored by a grant from U.S. State Department's Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).
The conservation work was carried out by a group or professionals from the Ministry of Culture's National Administration on Preservation and Restoration of Cultural and Historical Sites.
The U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, a.i., Lynne M. Tracy extended her congratulations on the completion of the project and noted, "I believe that our cooperation in rebuilding this historic mosque is a just and honorable dedication to the spirit of service and unity that we hope to emulate on September 11th."
The grantee briefly described the process of project implementation and thanked the Embassy for financial aid. Representatives from Turkmenistan's Government, involved in administering programs related to the cultural and historical heritage of Turkmenistan and National Commission on UNESCO participated in the ceremony.
Established by Congress in 2001, the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation aims to assist countries in preserving their cultural heritage. Over the past eight years the U.S. Government has supported 11 projects worth more than $230,000 to preserve historically important cultural sites and objects in Turkmenistan.
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