U.S. Consul General Launches Conservation Project at Solomon’s Pools in Bethlehem
JERUSALEM – Consul General Donald Blome joined Palestinian officials and dignitaries to launch a major conservation project to protect and preserve the famous Solomon’s Pools archaeological site in Bethlehem. The USD $750,000 project consists of a $500,000 grant from the State Department’s Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) and a complementary $250,000 grant from Consulate General Jerusalem. Both projects will be implemented through a partnership with the Solomon’s Pools Preservation and Development Center (SPPD). The program will help protect this historic site, damaged in recent years by erosion, and support tourism and the Palestinian economy. The project includes a supporting conference and other events.
In his remarks, Consul General Donald Blome said, “We share the hope that this site can be a source of pride, hope, and discovery for people of every culture, religion, and background. Places of this sort of antiquity should stir and inspire all of us to come together and celebrate their beauty.”
This public-private project will undertake emergency repairs to a portion of the wall and cistern that collapsed last year. It will also rehabilitate the pool to reduce the high risks of structural failures in its walls and platform. The project will repair and protect canals and establish designated walking paths to protect the surrounding archaeological elements and allow visitors to tour the site without risk of damage.
The U.S. Government, through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 countries around the world. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.