Grant for Preservation at Yemrehanna Kristos, Ethiopia
WMF has received a grant from the U.S. State Department Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for a project at the church of Yemrehanna Kristos in Ethiopia, which was included on the 2014 World Monuments Watch. U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Patricia Haslach, travelled to Yemrehanna Kristos on September 25, 2015, to inaugurate the grant in a colorful ceremony attended by local priests, community members, and representatives of the Ethiopian Government. The church, built by King Yemrehanna Kristos in around 1127, is constructed inside a cave, and because of this has been largely protected from the elements, but serious structural cracks are evident throughout the building. The project will run for 18 months, and carry out detailed structural analysis of the church using laser scanning technology and movement monitors, in order to determine the causes of the structural instability. In addition, WMF will join forces with the Ethiopian Heritage Fund and Courtauld Institute to undertake conservation work on wall paintings inside the church, which many scholars believe to be the oldest surviving wall paintings in Ethiopia.