US Ambassador Donates to Conserve Ancient Wall Paintings in Savannakhet

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Photo credit: Savanhphathana News

The US Ambassador to Laos, Mr. Peter Haymond has donated almost USD 50,000 to preserve wall paintings in three ancient temples in Savannakhet.

The signing ceremony of the United States grant funding to support a conservation project for wall paintings in three ancient temples, Old Taleo village temple, Champhone’s Thuad village temple, and Song’s Nong Buatha village temple took place last week.

The event was attended by the deputy governor of Savannakhet province, Ms. Lingthong Sengtavan, the United States ambassador to Laos, Mr. Peter Haymond, and representatives from the province’s relevant sectors in Champhone district and Songkone district.

According to Ms. Sounantha Kanlaya, President of the Association to Promote the Conservation of Literary Arts, the wall painting conservation project for historic temples from the 19th century in Savannakhet received funding of USD 49,800 under the US Ambassador Fund for Conserving Culture 2022.

The Savannakhet Press, Culture and Tourism Department, Press Office for Culture in both districts, National Institute of Fine Arts, University of Arts and Education, and Savannakhet School of Fine Arts were among the organizations that received the funding, according to Ms. Sounantha. They also served as the project’s main partners.

Ms. Sounantha noted that the project will include tasks like wall painting replication and area analysis. Additionally, it will offer creative training and aim at increasing awareness among the locals and students about the importance and history behind the wall paintings.

Additionally, information will be collected to publish books and e-books regarding the project and the wall paintings. An art exhibition will also be organized to raise funds to renovate the walls of the three temples.

Ms. Lingthong Sengtavan expressed her gratitude to the US ambassador and noted that this was the first time Savannakhet had ever received such generous assistance to preserve its historical architecture.

Head of the Department of Information, Culture and Tourism in Savannakhet Province, Mr. Phosiseko Kuthilat, and Secretary of the Embassy of the United States of America in Laos, Mr. Greg Orhith signed a memorandum as witnesses for the event.