The British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, announces seven new cultural heritage protection projects.
The grants announced today will help protect endangered global heritage, preserve local communities and protect sites at risk from conflict or climate change.
Just over £700,000 will be awarded to the various projects which will commence from July 2023, reaching completion by the end of January 2025.
To be eligible for support from the Cultural Protection Fund, projects must include activities that safeguard cultural heritage for future generations, protect heritage from risks relating to conflict, instability and/or climate change (and related disasters) and include meaningful involvement of the communities closest to the heritage.
New projects awarded funding are:
Revitalising the intangible Cultural Heritage of the Endorois people led by the Jamii Asilia Centre in partnership with Global Wisdom Collective
The Endorois were some of the first inhabitants in the Baringo and Laikipia Counties in Kenya and their intangible heritage is at risk due to the rising water levels of nearby Lake Bogoria. The project will deliver training in oral history skills and record conversations with Endorois Elders focussing on the knowledge systems, practices and rituals connected to their pastoralist culture.
Documentation and Conservation of Lebanon’s Coastal Castles led by Iconem
The coastal heritage of Lebanon is at risk of erosion due to climate change. This project will carry out conservation, documentation and 3D photogrammetric digitisation of four historically significant archaeological sites, as well as building capacities by providing local training in heritage preservation.
Batroun in Lebanon – Iconem Fund
Khan Musallah led by Living Mesopotamia CIC
This impressive 19th Century monument in Iraq was built to accommodate pilgrims travelling between the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala and was a key point for contact and exchange along the Silk and Ottoman trade routes. It suffered significant damage during conflict and faces further deterioration due to climate change. This project will improve the condition of the site, create a conservation plan and support local heritage professionals and the community to care for and protect this and other local heritage sites in the future.
Khan Musalla, Najaf, Iraq – Living Mesopotamia CIC
Securing the Archives of a Travelling Merchant led by Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research
The 19th century Dar Jacir house and its rare archival collection in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, are in danger of being lost due to ongoing conflict. This project will protect the building against further damage, provide access to new areas for collections display and will enable the creation of a professional standard archive room.
Emergency intervention and damage assessment in Manbij led by Heritage for Peace
This project will see the implementation of emergency and consolidation interventions to stabilise three at risk monuments in Northern Syria, dating from the late Byzantine to early 20th century.
Turath Benghazi led by World Monuments Fund
The historic city centre of Benghazi in Libya hosts many important religious and cultural sites and has suffered significant damage due to civil war. This project will provide local architects and officials with training in cultural heritage preservation and urban design, building capacity for conservation and restoration of this ancient city.
Silphium Plaza in Benghazi after the war in 2020.
Cultural Heritage Preservation Northern Karamoja led by Kara-Tunga Foundation
The Ik community in North East Uganda have a unique language and culture that is under threat due to marginalisation and displacement through conflict and climate change. This project aims to protect their cultural identity through documentation, community engagement and training.
Stephanie Grant, Director of the Cultural Protection Fund at The British Council said:
“The threat to global cultural heritage because of conflict and climate change is growing and it is more critical than ever that we make efforts to safeguard what we value. The projects we are announcing today will protect valuable archives, sites of historic importance and the cultural practices of marginalised communities. I am immensely proud that the Cultural Protection Fund supports this vital work and look forward to hearing more about the progress of each project.”
Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:
“We have a duty to protect not only our own rich heritage here in the UK but also our shared human heritage around the world.
“I am delighted that the funding for these projects will help us all to learn more about these fascinating sites, collections, and practices while preserving them for future generations.”
Find out more about these projects and the work of the Cultural Protection Fund
Notes to Editor
About the British Council – The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2020–21 we connected with 67 million people directly and with 745 million people overall. www.britishcouncil.org
About the Cultural Protection Fund – The Cultural Protection Fund is managed by the British Council – the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations – in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It aims to foster, safeguard and promote cultural heritage overseas. The Fund is a key part of the British Council’s work in Culture and Development overseas, which focuses on ambitious, artistic and creative initiatives that foster social cohesion, freedom of expression, inclusive institutions, dynamic communities, and improved social and economic well-being. For more information on the Cultural Protection Fund: https://www.britishcouncil.org/arts/culture-development/cultural-protection-fund