Today in Petra, U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice G. Wells launched a grant awarded under the Department of State’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to expand conservation of the Temple of the Winged Lions. The grant, totaling $200,000, was awarded to the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in partnership with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and the Petra Archeological Park. Representatives from ACOR, the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), and the local community attended the launch.
The grant will support the second phase of conservation at the Temple of the Winged Lions, and is part of the United States’ continuous support for this site since 2012. In its first stage, the project provided nearly 700 employment opportunities for the local community and earned the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2015 Award for Best Practices in Site Preservation.
Since 2001, the United States’ Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) has helped preserve many of Jordan’s archeological sites, providing over 1.6 million USD for 13 different sites. This program has helped preserve Jordan’s cultural heritage and supported Jordanian tourism and the crucial role it plays in Jordan’s economy. The AFCP is only one part of the U.S.-Jordanian partnership in tourism, with the United States providing nearly $90 million to support the development of Jordan’s tourism initiatives at large.
While in Petra, Ambassador Wells also separately met with the Nabatean Ladies Cooperative, the Dean of the Petra College for Tourism and Archeology, and the PDTRA. She then discussed the state of tourism and the hotel industry with hotel owners in Wadi Musa.