Cultural Heritage Projects 2001 – present
Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
Tunisia is a country rich in cultural heritage, with eight World Heritage Sites and countless high-value archaeological objects. For 20 years, the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) has supported more than 1,000 projects in 130+ countries. The United States has invested almost 1,000,000 dollars in 8 cultural preservation projects in Tunisia since 2001. You may find our current and previous AFCP projects here:
2022 Preservation of Musical Instruments at the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music in Sidi Bou Said $285,000
The Center of Arab and Mediterranean Music contains 320 instruments of diverse origins that reflect Tunisia’s unique cultural heritage. This project focuses on preserving the musical instrument collection and creating more opportunities for community involvement in preserving Tunisian tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
2019 Conservation of the Roman Imperial (3rd Century) Amphitheater in El Jem $430,312
Built in the 3rd century and today a World Heritage site, the amphitheater of El Jem is one of the largest amphitheaters in the Ancient Roman world, second only to the Colosseum in Rome. This project involves the consolidation and conservation of the structure’s masonry facades and arcades and the restoration of its ancient drainage system.
2018 Conservation of the Ancient Roman-Berber City of Uthina $140,000
The large public cisterns at of the 1st-century BC city of Uthina once supplied water to multiple villages. This project, which involves the conservation of the cisterns and the documentation of more than 5,000 archaeological objects, directly supports the Embassy’s efforts to promote economic development and security in Tunisia.
2006 Restoration of the Late 18th-Century Dar Ben Abdallah $51,700
To enable the restoration of one of the great palaces of Tunis, Dar Ben Abdallah. It was constructed in 1796 and is currently the home of the Center for Popular Arts and Traditions, serving as both a museum and historic site. Significant water damage threatens the historic structure and the collections within.
2005 Preservation of the Photographic Collections of the Association for the Protection of the Medina of Tunis $31,000
To support the digitization and organization of the photo archive of the Medina of Tunis, preserve the images, and provide access to the collection. The older images are deteriorating rapidly from use and lack of proper storage conditions. The collection contains over 9,000 slides and 50,000 photos dating to the 1920’s and 30’s. The images serve to inform preservation projects in the Medina.
2005 Restoration of the 19th-Century Ben Moussa Kuttab in the Medina of Tunis $40,000
To support the restoration of the Ben Moussa Kuttab built in the 19th century. The Kuttab was originally a Koranic school attached to a mosque but was taken over by the state and now serves secular purposes as a pre-school. An essential element of the Medina, originally there were 137 throughout the Medina and today only sixty remain.
2003 Restoration of the 18th-Century Sidi Mansour Building on the Island of Jerba $30,000
To support the restoration and preservation of the Sidi Mansour building complex as part of a larger project to create a cultural tourism circuit on the southern Tunisian island of Jerba. Sidi Mansour is an 18th century building complex once devoted to Sufi activities on Jerba. It is a rare Tunisian example of 18th century Islamic women’s public architecture.
2001 Preservation of the World War II Battle Site at Kasserine Pass $15,000
To support construction of a monument near Kasserine, Tunisia, commemorating the World War II battle at Kasserine Pass. The U.S. suffered over 6,000 casualties at the battle and historians now recognize the decisive actions to have been pivotal in the successful Allied offensive in Tunisia during World War II.
NOTE: If you are interested in obtaining funding for a future AFCP project, the call for proposals opens every year in November. Check back on our website for more information.