The United States today pledged one million dollars to the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo. The conference, which is being held in Paris, was organized jointly by UNESCO, the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo, the Council of Europe, and the European Commission.
Surveys carried out by UNESCO and the Council of Europe have designated several monuments in Kosovo for preservation and reconstruction projects. These projects span the religious, ethnic and historical spectrum, including historical sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Islamic facilities from the Ottoman period, and secular sites of historical and cultural significance. The United States hopes that its contribution to this international effort to repair damage caused by ethnic conflict and the passage of time will help the people of Kosovo overcome internal divisions and move toward greater integration into Europe with confidence and optimism.
This pledge represents a large increase in U.S. assistance and reflects a continued commitment to cultural preservation in Kosovo. Since 2000, the U.S. Mission in Pristina has contributed nearly $100,000 to various cultural heritage projects, including monument preservation, restoration of historic manuscripts, and a joint project with the Kosovo Ministry of Culture to develop an inventory system for the management of cultural heritage sites.
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