A new £30 million fund to protect and conserve cultural sites around the world is now open to applications from arts, culture and heritage organisations.
The UK’s Cultural Protection Fund is managed by the British Council in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
It is focused on supporting organisations that protect cultural heritage in countries in the Middle East and North Africa region including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Successful applicants will use the grants to:
- ensure cultural heritage under threat is researched, documented, conserved and restored to safeguard against permanent loss
- help build the capacity of local professionals and ensure they have sufficient business or specialist skills to manage and promote cultural assets which will benefit the local economy
- help local people to identify and value cultural heritage, and have a good understanding of what can be done to protect their cultural heritage and the role it plays in society and the economy.
Assuming the Cultural Property Bill, currently before the House of Lords, is passed, the UK will become the first permanent member of the Security Council to have ratified both the Convention and its two Protocols.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale said:
“Cultural property is of huge importance and helps people better understand their shared history. At a time when some of the world’s most important heritage assets are under threat, this fund, together with our ratification of the Hague Convention, will help us protect cultural heritage in the Middle East and North Africa”.
Applications to the Cultural Protection Fund are now open. The call for Expressions of Interest closes on 1 August, and applications close on 31 August.
Main image: “The structures that stood there for 1,700 years have been forever destroyed.” Photo ©DVIDSHUB, licensed under CC BY 2.0 and adapted from the original.