Michael Scanlan. Speech at the Presentation of the Book “How to Preserve Cultural Originality?”

 Michael Scanlan
Chargé d’Affaires of the USA to Belarus

 It is an opportunity for Belarus to continue to document its centuries long European history but at the same time preserve its own unique culture and tradition.

The Embassy also supports two-way exchange programs for Belarusians and Americans specializing in museum management,cultural heritage preservation, and the promotion of cultural tolerance through arts. The sharing of best practices between experts is important.

 As a country of immigrants, the United States has been blessed with the influence of many cultures. In recognition of this, the U.S. Congress authorized in 2001 the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.The Fund has so far provided grant support for 550 cultural preservation projects in more than 100 countries totaling $20million.

 Over this period five projects were funded in Belarus: the Restoratio nof the Former Vitebsk People’s School of Art; the preservation of Traditional Belarusian Ritual Folklore; support to “Stary Olsa” band for the Production of the «Living Roots» Documentary on Belarusian ancient music; the digitizing of the National Library collection of gramophone records; and the preservation of the works of our shared great artist Marc Chagall at the Marc Chagall Museum in Vitebsk. The Embassy also took particular pride in issuing a special grant of $28,000for the restoration of the Thaddeus Kosciuszko home and museum. He was a hero of four nations – Belarus, Poland, the United States, and France – a champion of personal liberty and democracy.

 The protection of cultural heritage and cultural identity is the responsibility of every person and every nation. The gathering was an excellent example of our joint commitment to work together to preserve the cultural diversity in the world that makes all of our lives so rich.