Through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, the Department of State is helping eligible countries around the globe preserve historic sites and manuscripts, museum collections, and traditional forms of music, dance, and language. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers the Fund, established by Congress in 2001 to assist countries to preserve their cultural heritage. The U.S. Congress, in approving funding for the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, noted, “By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, we show our respect for other cultures.” The American Embassy in Belgrade views this Fund as an important sign of the American people’s respect for Serbian culture and of the strong friendship between our two countries.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation supported these projects in Serbia:
2020 – Vinca, Rescuing a 7500 Year Old Neolithic Settlement - $475,000
Vinča – Belo Brdo is a 25-acre archeological site housing the remains of what is probably Europe’s oldest Neolithic civilization, which flourished from 6200 to 4500 B.C.E. Due to erosion and landslides, caused in part by recent developments and exacerbated by natural forces, large portions of the 10-meter mound have collapsed. Recent flooding of the Danube has raised further concerns because of the risk posed to the vulnerable base of the tell, including those areas that have already experienced collapse.
The purpose of this project is to stabilize and protect this fragile, 7,500 year old Neolithic settlement of the Vinča culture in central Serbia, by preventing further landslides and erosion in its most threatened areas. That will preserve this fragile site for both continued archaeological research and discovery and ideally as a draw for domestic, regional, and international tourism handled in a responsible manner. This intervention to save and preserve the Vinča -Belo Brdo archaeological site could significantly boost the tourism potential of the area. The tourism development component envisions features of a park or visitor center featuring information on what has been discovered in the 10 meter deep cultural deposit, as well as what is currently being excavated by archaeologists in real time. As a result, the collection at this park would be different with every visit to the site, since new finds would be displayed on a regular basis.
2019 - Old Town Užice Fortress - Protection and Conservation of the Fortress - $75,000
The Old Town Užice Fortress is a medieval stone fortress located on a cliff above the Ðetinja River in Western Serbia. It is positioned on the road that connects Belgrade to the Adriatic Sea. The Old Town Užice Fortress consists of an upper town section that includes a tower, a middle town section, and a lower town section that includes a water tower. The fortress is surrounded by the Ðetinja River on three sides and the fortress dates to the first half of the fourteenth century.
The project entails cleaning, reconstruction, and the protection and conservation of the wall structure: the entire wall needs to be sealed with quality mortar or fixed with new stone. Part of the wall will be built with the same stone used in the fortress, which will be reinforced with steel rods and concrete anchors. In addition, all unsafe places must be equipped with special gates and ramps made of steel with locking mechanisms.
The restoration of the Old Town Užice Fortress will bring social and economic benefits to the municipality of Užice. Due to its close proximity to Zlatibor, the fortress has strong potential to attract tourists en route to Zlatibor, as well as travelers headed to/from Montenegro.
2016 - University Library Svetozar Markovic - restoration of the façade and roof - $106,000
This project aims to repair the leaking roof and the damaged facade of the main library building. Repairing these damaged areas will prevent further destruction of the library’s structure and subsequently reduce the possibility of losing its priceless old and rare books, manuscripts and maps. The University Library Collection consists of monographs, periodicals, reference books, manuscripts, archival materials, doctoral dissertations and electronic resources. In addition, invaluable special collections and legacies (27 in total) among which is the Carnegie collection, which was donated to the University Library in 1927, are stored in the building. The building has suffered serious damage due to rainfall and subsequent water penetration. The roof is corroded and full of bad joints, and the facade is significantly damaged. Dampness in the rooms creates mold and jeopardizes the condition of numerous valuable collections such as legacy collections from famous Serbian scientists and writers, archival records containing documents from the 17th to 20th centuries, 15 incunabula from the 15th century, portions of manuscripts dating from the 13th century and over 10,000 additional old and rare books and manuscripts.
2013 - Roman Imperial Palace Sirmium – Conservation And Restoration Of Mosaics - $73,000
The cultural preservation program is designed to return the primary elements of the interior decoration in one of the best preserved rooms (Room 16, probably part of the residential quarter in the late Roman Imperial Palace) to something approximating its original luxurious state. This is an integral part of the celebration of the 1700 anniversary of the Edict of Milan in this former capital of the Roman Empire with strong associations with the first Christian emperor Constantine and his successors. The program will be accomplished by restoring decorative features which were clearly documented in the original excavations in the 1970’s, namely the marble-faced fountain at the end of the room, the geometric pavement presently in place and the earlier figural (representation of the god Mercury) mosaic pavement from the room, for wall display. The wall display of the Mercury mosaic will lead the way into the second phase of the Palace presentation project, which is the step by step restoration of the mosaic pavements and their presentation in the Palace pavements and on the preservation structure walls.
2011 - Felix Romuliana Magura Hill – Conservation And Restoration Of Romula's Tumulus - $65,800
The purpose of the project is to conserve and restore Romula’s tumulus, or burial mound, on the Magura Hill, the site of the Imperial Palace complex of Felix Romuliana, which is a Late Roman palace and memorial complex built in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries, commissioned by the Emperor Galerius Maximianus. The strong fortifications of the palace reflect the fact that the Tetrarch Emperors were all senior military leaders. The spatial and visual relationships between the palace and the memorial complex, where the mausoleums of the Emperor and his mother Romula are located, are unique. Conservation and restoration of Romula’s tumulus is essential as the circular stone wall around the mound has collapsed in several places which can be seen in the attached photos. Conservation of the wall is essential to prevent further weakening of the entire tumulus.
2010 - Ethnographic Museum - Reconstruction Of Roof To Protect Frescoes - $65,200
This project had in mind to completely repair the roof of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. The Ethnographic Museum building was constructed in 1935 by a famous Serbian architect, Mr. Aleksandar Djordjevic.
It was built for the use of the Belgrade Stock Exchange and is located in the center of the city. It is located near University of Belgrade, which is a donation of Misa Anastasijevic and near Ilija Kolarac and other national historical building sites. This building is under the special protection of the Institute for Cultural Monument Protection for the City of Belgrade and the initiative for prevention from further damage and restoration has been started. For this reason, the main project has been restoration of the facade of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade and replacement of the roof. The first phase of restoration, including windows, is completed and financed by local donors.
The next step was to completely remove the existing roof and install a new one. The reason for initiating this project was because the building was suffering major damage due to rainfall and penetration of water into the offices and exhibition rooms. Dampness in the offices created mold and jeopardized the condition of numerous valuable exhibit pieces located at the Ethnographic Museum which were collected during the past 100 years.
2009 - Bela Crkva Catholic Church - Reconstruction Of Roof To Protect Frescoes - $44,500
The project entails replacement of damaged and weather-exposed roof tiles in the Church of St. Ana, a Catholic Church in the multi-national and multi-confessional community of Bela Crkva, Northwestern Serbia. The paintings on the ceiling of the church have been damaged and are at great risk for further destruction in a short period of time. The Church is considered a landmark of the town, and it importance to the community is of greater significance than just the number of catholic churchgoers. The building is also used as a community center for all faiths and events as it has the best acoustics in town of all the public places, and is often a venue for civic and cultural events.
2008 - Studenica Monastery - Restoration Of Frescoes - $33,850
The Studenica Monastery serves as a guardian of Serbian religious tradition and culture. As the most important monastery complex of medieval Serbia, Studenica is still the most important artistic and spiritual center of the Serbian people. Since the 12th century, when it was founded, the life of the monastic community has never been interrupted and its cultural strata can be ascertained by the great number of architectural and painting achievements. The spiritual and cultural richness of the Studenica Monastery has drawn the attention not only of the domestic public, but also the international community, who understand that Studenica is placed in the first rank of the world’s cultural and religious monuments.
2007 - Viminacium Roman Archeological Site – Excavation Of The Amphitheater - $31,255
$31,255 for the analysis and excavation of the Roman amphitheater at Viminacium. On September 13, 2007, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter signed a grant of $31,200 to help preserve the Roman amphitheater at the Viminacium Archaeological Site through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. Dr. Miomir Korac, Assistant Minister of Culture of the Republic of Serbia and Viminacium Project Director accepted the grant. The signing took place at the mausoleum located at the Viminacium site. Funds for the project will be used to define the physical extent of the site where the amphitheater is located and evaluation of the state of preservation of the structure in order to place it under the protection of law as a cultural monument. The project will also plan for the conservation and presentation of the archaelogical means and artifacts associated with the structure. The American Embassy in Belgrade views this project as a sign of our continued committment to preserve ancient archeological treasures in Serbia.
2006 - Novi Pazar Mehteb - Restoration Of The School - Altun Alme Mosque In Novi Pazar - $50,000
The school was built in the early 16th century and is one of the oldest Islamic structures in Novi Pazar and in the region.
2005 - Memorial School In Orasac - $24,450
We supported the preservation of the loft and facade the Memorial School in Orasac (OR-a-shats), which represents an example of traditional Serbian architecture and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the country.
2001 - Rakovica Monastery - $17,000
The U.S. Embassy donated $17,000 for the reconstruction of the roof of the Rakovica Monastery where Patriarch Pavle rests.