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World Monuments Fund announces grant to support restoration of cultural heritage damaged in Japan
Otokayama in May 2011 ©Manu.
NEW YORK, NY.- On the eve of the second anniversary of Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, World Monuments Fund announced today a $250,000 grant to advance the efforts of the local community in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, to restore and preserve its historic cityscape that was damaged in that catastrophic natural disaster. The grant will be presented at a ceremony held at Kesennuma City Hall on March 10.

In Kesennuma, the international public-private cooperation Save Our Culture will undertake the restoration of seven buildings, six of which are designated as Registered Cultural Property by the Japanese Government agency Bunkacho (Agency for Cultural Affairs), and one whose application is pending.

WMF, with support from the Freeman Foundation, is providing the funds to support the Kesennuma KAZAMACHI Cityscape Preservation Association, a local non-profit organization that has been leading restoration efforts at historic structures through collaboration with the Kesennuma city government. Local funding is being provided by The Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research with support from HERMÈS JAPON CO., LTD.

This is WMF’s second grant for the preservation of damaged cultural heritage in eastern Japan, following the one made in 2012 to restore seven machiya buildings in the historic town of Sawara, Katori City, Chiba Prefecture, all of which are designated as Cultural Property by the Chiba prefecture government.

Now that Kesennuma’s community rebuilding plan has been agreed to, this second grant is intended to raise awareness among the public that support is still urgently needed to help afflicted communities save and repair the damaged cultural heritage sites that have the deepest meaning for the local population.

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