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Press Releases 2013

U.S. Ambassador Visits Tyre to Promote Cultural Heritage

February 6, 2013

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly visited Tyre yesterday to promote the protection of cultural property and visit project sites under the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

During her visit, she met with the Mayor of Tyre, Mr. Hassan Dbouk, the head of the Union of Tyre Region Municipalities, Mr. Abed Mohsen Hosaini, Dr. Ali Khalil Badawi, Director of Antiquities for South Lebanon with the Ministry of Culture, and members of the Tyre Municipal Council.  She also toured the Al-Bass ruins, the ancient city of Tyre, and the port of Tyre and discussed further ways that the United States may help contribute to the protection of Tyre’s rich cultural heritage.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) was created by the U.S. Congress in 2001 and supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries. 

This program has funded two cultural preservation projects in Tyre.  In 2003, the U.S. Embassy supported the restoration of the funerary complex at the Al-Bass Necropolis that included the conservation and cleaning of various structures and elements of the necropolis, including an ornate Byzantine mosaic.  In 2006, the program funded the conservation, protection and restoration of the Mubarakeh Tower in the historic port of Tyre.  The tower, dating from the 1st century B.C., is among the last remains of Tyre’s ancient defensive walls.

While at the Al-Bass site, a U.S. Embassy vehicle parked too close to a modern wall built to shore up the main road to the site that caused part of the wall to collapse.  Ambassador Connelly expresses the U.S. Embassy’s regret at this incident.  The Embassy is coordinating with the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Tyre to pay for the damages.