On August 12, Ambassador Mustard participated in the closing ceremony for an Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project completed by the Fine Arts Museum of Turkmenistan. This was the second stage in the reconstruction of the 15th century Seyit Jemalletdin Mosque portal – known for its ancient Arabic calligraphy and mosaics depicting two golden dragons – originally located in Annau, Ahal Province. The museum has been a long-term partner for other AFCP projects, such as the 2011 award for conservation of decorative panels from the 5th century Zoroastrian temple of fire at Mele-Heyran as well as the 2015 award for the study, conservation, and reconstruction of the mosaics from the underground Bronze Age tomb at Gonur Depe.
This ceremony highlighted USG support for Turkmenistan’s cultural heritage and capacity building in the field of conservation. In addition to various Ministry of Culture representatives, the Ambassador was joined by Ms. Bahar Abdiyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture of Turkmenistan, as well as Ms. Gozel Shagulyeva, a famous Turkmen poet, to underscore the successful U.S.-Turkmenistan bilateral relationship.