Safeguarding Heritage Sites in Syria

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

August 4, 2014

The U.S. Department of State and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) have signed a $600,000 cooperative agreement to comprehensively document the current condition of cultural heritage sites in Syria and assess the future restoration, preservation, and protection needs for those sites. ASOR’s documentation and planning will raise global awareness of the threats to Syria’s cultural heritage and identify immediate or future projects and assistance that can be carried out and provided inside Syria.

The United States is committed to protecting the world’s cultural heritage from pillage, looting, and illicit trafficking. This grant award is part of the United States’ larger effort to preserve Syria’s historic sites and treasures. The destruction of Syria’s rich heritage risks losing a cultural legacy of universal importance and jeopardizes the role it can play in post-conflict reconciliation and economic revitalization efforts. To learn more about the State Department’s efforts to protect Syria’s culture heritage, please visit http://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/syria-cultural-heritage-initiative.