The American Research Center in Eygpt

Preserving Egypt's Cultural Heritage

Preserving Egypt's Cultural Heritage


PECH front_cover

ARCE proudly announces the publication of a new book, "Preserving Egypt's Cultural Heritage: Conservation Work by the American Research Center in Egypt 1995-2005," edited by Randi Danforth. The visually rich and scholarly retrospective volume records the important first decade of collaboration between ARCE, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in preserving treasures of Egypt's cultural heritage.

A reception on February 10, 2010 celebrating the book’s release was hosted by The Hon. Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Egypt, at the Ambassador’s residence in Cairo.

"The U.S. Embassy in Egypt is very happy to share in the celebration of the publication of a wonderful book marking ten years of work undertaken by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Supreme Council of Antiquities," the Ambassador said in her remarks. "As both partners and neighbors, the U.S. Embassy and ARCE have worked together to foster a strong relationship and exchange of knowledge between the United States and Egypt."

ARCE reception_2

From left to right: Hilda Arellano, USAID Egypt; Zahi Hawass, SCA; Ambassador Margaret Scobey; Gerry Scott, ARCE


In 1992, a serious earthquake damaged many historic buildings around Egypt. In response, the United States Agency for International Development, upon the authority of the U.S. Congress, provided funding for a first-of-its-kind program of historic preservation and conservation to address the needs of the damaged antiquities. The American Research Center in Egypt was chosen to administer the program and began work on the first projects in 1995 under the leadership of the late Robert "Chip" Vincent, Project Director for the ARCE Egyptian Antiquities Project (EAP).

Over the next ten years ARCE, with support from the American people through USAID, and in collaboration with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, oversaw more than 50 projects that helped to preserve Egypt’s rich and world-renowned legacy of cultural heritage. Both Egyptian and foreign experts worked side by side on projects ranging from pre-history to the Ottoman period.

In 2010, ARCE continues with this program in such places as the great Temples at Karnak and Luxor, where conservators are working to ensure the stability of the monuments, clean and preserve wall reliefs, and train new Egyptian conservators.

About the Book

Through stunning photography and detailed essays, “Preserving Egypt’s Cultural Heritage” records the important first decade of the on-going collaboration between USAID, the SCA, and ARCE to preserve Egypt’s historic monuments and to provide training for Egyptian antiquities personnel.

Featured projects include work on prehistoric sites in the Sinai; conserving an early dynastic funerary enclosure—one of the oldest structures in the world; conserving the shattered sarcophagus of Ramesses VI; cleaning exquisite Greco-Roman mosaics in Alexandria; cleaning and conserving brilliantly colorful Coptic wall paintings in the world’s earliest Christian monasteries; conserving splendid Islamic buildings in Historic Cairo; and the training of a new generation of Egyptian archaeologists.

The book documents these important projects with in-depth histories and over 225 full color images. It is edited by Randi Danforth, with a foreword by Zahi Hawass, and is distributed by The American University in Cairo Press.
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