UNESCO seeks 1 mln dollars for reconstruction of Uganda's burned world heritage site

10:30, June 19, 2010      

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is seeking one million U.S. dollars for the rebuilding Uganda's world heritage site which was burnt down in March, an official said here on Friday.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO director general told delegates from 40 African countries that the organization has taken the responsibility of mobilizing funds for reconstructing Kasubi Tombs, a 126 year old burial site for ancient kings of one of Uganda's oldest kingdoms.

"We are committed to preserving culture. Culture is very important and significant for the economic growth and development of African continent," she said while closing the 12th conference of national commissions for UNESCO and director general consultations of Africa region.

Bokova on Friday met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe, 40km south of the capital, Kampala.

According to the statement from State House, Museveni called upon UNESCO to support Uganda's efforts to preserve its oldest cultural sites.

"We welcome any support towards Kasubi. However, Kasubi is more recent in 1884. There are other sites that were as ancient as 1600AD. We should develop programs to ensure that we protect this rich history as living memory," the statement quoted Museveni as saying.

According to the release, Bokova said that UNESCO has already raised 50,000 dollars from various donors for the reconstruction of the tombs and hoped to jointly work with Ugandan government to restore it.

Located on a hill in Uganda's capital Kampala, Kasubi Tombs was a former palace of the Kings of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884.

Four royal tombs laid within the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It was made of wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub.

The tombs were a tourist attraction as well as an important spiritual and political site for the Baganda, Uganda's largest ethnic group. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

Source: Xinhua


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