Agency for Culture and Tourism in the National Regional State of Tigrai
ATO KEBEDE AMARE is General Manager for Agency for Culture and Tourism in the National State of Tigrai (ATC), situated in Mekele, the capital in this, the northermost province of Ethiopia. Within this area we not just find Aksum, the old capital of Ethiopia (ca 150 B.C – 700 A.D) with all its cultural hertitage, but also a number of unique ancient churches, about 150 of them rockhewn churches from the medieval time, cut out from the bedrock and situatated in the Tigrinian mountains. Ato Kebede and his staff is our closest collaborator and have by all means assisted in the preparations and paved the way of our project. ACT is one of the regional subdivisions of Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), Ministry of Culture, Addis Ababa, the national authority responsible for all Cultural Heritage in the country. Ato Kebede have within his staff a number of experts specialized within the fields which serv the objects for the activities of ACT. With his around twenty employee this institution have the capasity of assisting all kind of projects – not least the research projects that are prosecuted in the province. It is ARCCH and its regional departments that issue official permissions for individuell scholars as well as for the activities of various projects. By the agency of him and his staff our preliminary examination of the church and the paintings of Debre Selam Mika’el (DSM), done in November 2009, was prepared on location, helped by the well established contacts ACT have with local people as well as the regional and local ecclestiastical authoritities. In accord with him and this office a joint application for funds to the pilot project DSM have been prepared, funds which we hope will be granted by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The great interest in our project from this most charming and collaborative person and ACT, as well as from ARCCH is partly owing to the importance a rearmament of ancient churches and art have for the national cultural heritage as such. But this interest is as much due to the didactic part of this, i.e. the domestic education of restorers and the long-term program of cultural care taking towards which our project is aiming, that of course also will have importance for the tourism in the country Learn more: Mekele, ARCCH and SIDA
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