Congratulations to the Cultural Heritage Center for receiving the first annual Heritage Award for International Excellence. The award, given by the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS), recognizes organizations, programs, projects, individuals, and publications that exemplify worldwide excellence in the protection, revitalization, or interpretation of the world’s historic monuments and sites; or that educate the public about global heritage or otherwise further the goals of the World Heritage Convention. The Cultural Heritage Center, part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, serves a pivotal role in the exercise of cultural heritage protection and preservation in the United States and the world. The Center oversees the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the Iraq Cultural Heritage Initiative, and various special cultural heritage programs designed to safeguard the international cultural heritage. The Center also administers the nation’s responsibilities to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. By providing funds to preservation projects in over 100 countries, training international experts in legal and ethical cultural heritage issues, supporting initiatives that aim to prevent the global trade in cultural property, and promoting access to cultural and natural sites around the world, the Cultural Heritage Center has been a critical player in the positive valuation of humans’ common heritage.
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