For immediate release on June 7, 2022
The United States supports the exhibition renovation of the UNESCO-designated Thracian tomb near Sveshtari
On June 7, Ambassador Mustafa, together with the Credo Bonum Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and local dignitaries, unveiled the newly renovated Thracian tomb near Sveshtari. The renovations were made possible by the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which committed over BGN 330,000 to preserve this UNESCO-designated cultural treasure for future generations to enjoy and admire.
The Sveshtari Thracian Tomb is a unique example of Mediterranean funerary architecture and attracts around 50,000 visitors each year. The tomb was built in the 3rd century BC. It was built to house the remains of a wealthy Getae chieftain who was buried there with his horses. The most notable decorations inside the tomb surround the burial chamber – 10 caryatids (columns shaped as women) whose chitons are in the shape of an inverted palmette. This type of sculpture is not otherwise seen in the region.
The AFCP-sponsored restoration project included the expert repair and renovation of significant parts of the tomb, as well as professional lighting installations, air conditioning, educational displays and exhibitions, and other improved tourism infrastructure.
This AFCP project joins a number of other projects sponsored by the Embassy since 2002, including the preservation of two 4th-century Christian tombs in central Sofia; the preservation of the Thracian tomb of Crane II from the 4th century BC. in the Valley of the Thracian Kings; the restoration of the 17th-century Kurshum Mosque in Silistra; the preservation of 3rd-century mosaic floors in the ancient provincial capital of Philippoplis (present-day Plovdiv); the preservation of the early 19th-century library and mosque of Osman Pazvantoglu in Vidin; and the preservation and restoration of the 14th-century medieval church “St. John Aliturgetos” in the ancient city of Nessebar. Together these projects amount to more than BGN 2,000,000 invested by the United States Embassy in Bulgaria‘s cultural heritage. For more information, see our fact sheet: AFCP US Embassy Poster Show
Established by the US Congress in the fall of 2000, the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation provides grants for the preservation of cultural sites, objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expressions such as music, dance and language in more than 130 countries around the world. Administered by the Cultural Heritage Center within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the State Department and funded by the Diplomatic and Consular Program, AFCP provides a meaningful opportunity for the United States to show its respect for the cultural heritage of other countries.
Ambassador Mustafa said at the event, “The United States recognizes the vital importance of preserving these sites and Bulgaria‘s cultural heritage for future generations, and we are honored to be your partners in this important endeavor. . . . May our project serve as a tangible reminder of the enduring partnership between Bulgarians and Americans who came together to protect an important piece of Bulgarian history in times of need.”