Preservation of cultural heritage


The Federal Foreign Office supports the preservation of cultural heritage in developing countries and protects German cultural heritage abroad.

Since 1981, Germany has been supporting the preservation of cultural heritage across the globe as part of the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office.

Work at the upper patio of the citadel, Herat, Afghanistan
Herat, Afghanistan© DAI

Support is given to projects to preserve cultural heritage abroad and to protect German cultural heritage abroad, except in areas where Germans historically settled in Eastern Europe (for which the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media is responsible).

The aim is to strengthen people’s sense of their own national identity and to foster a cultural dialogue in a spirit of partnership. The programme has become a highly effective instrument of Germany’s cultural relations and education policy.

Trilingual Volume

Worlds of Culture
Worlds of Culture© AA

The Worlds of Culture presents 13 projects which have received support through the Cultural Preservation Programme in recent years.

Worlds of Culture PDF / 5 MB

Around 70 million euros were provided from 1981 to 2016 to fund more than 2750 projects in 144 countries.

The programme covers a wide range of activities including:

  • Restoring and conserving historic buildings or objects
  • Supporting the restoration and conservation of World Heritage sites
  • Collecting and documenting oral traditions in music and literature
  • Conserving and digitising historic manuscripts and film/audio archives, as well as data on cultural property
  • Documenting endangered cultural heritage (films, publications)
  • Basic and further training for restorers, archivists, museum experts and researchers
  • Exhibitions and colloquia on cultural heritage
  • Providing appliances and equipment

Examples of projects:

Syria: Syrian heritage archive

Nepal: Restoration of Patan Royal Palace

Laos: Saving the murals of Wat Si Saket in Vietiane

Afghanistan: Balkh: Restauration of old town

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