Urgent Preservation of the Lalibela Churches

Amhara region, Ethiopia

Amount $ 150 000

Years 2021 - 2022

Operator French Embassy in Addis Ababa in close cooperation with the French Center for Scientific Research and the Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage

Type of grant Call for projects

French Embassy in Addis Ababa

Lalibela is known for its complex of eleven 12th and 13th century churches carved into volcanic rock, with doors, windows, columns, floors, and roofs chiseled out of a monolithic block. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, the site is a symbol of national identity and the local communities’ history and heritage. Severe erosion has endangered the site. This emergency project undertakes urgent stabilization of the most fragile churches by strengthening conserving the architectural elements affected by erosion. Activities also include training local artisans and heritage professionals in conservation and management. This initiative contributes to the large-scale rehabilitation program financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).