US Ambassador Donald Blome on Wednesday announced funds for the restoration of seven sites at the iconic Lahore Fort in the provincial metropolis. A grant of US dollars 982500 from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) will help restoration of seven sites at the Fort including famous picture wall, Loh Temple, Sikh temple, Zanana Mosque, Sehdara pavilion, and Athdara pavilion besides technical work at the grand Sheesh Mahal. Lahore Fort, the 16th century Moghul architecture masterpiece, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The AFCP, since 2001, has preserved many historical and cultural treasures under threat from environmental pressure or lack of resources in Pakistan including the Wazir Khan Mosque in the walled city. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Blome said the U.S. Mission is proud to partner with the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) and the Aga Khan Cultural Service-Pakistan for the preservation of the magnificent Lahore Fort. He said the Fort symbolizes rich cultural, historical, and religious heritage and diversity of Pakistan. In a recent visit to the seven sites at the Lahore Fort, the ambassador paid rich tribute to the cultural heritage, adding that these projects are a testament of the United States and Pakistan joint commitment to cultural preservation. The ambassador further said the United States and Pakistan recently celebrated 75 years of bilateral ties and share a partnership based on common goals, people to people exchanges, and mutual interests. He expressed the hope that the restoration project will strengthen bilateral ties and encourage economic growth and tourism. ‘The AFCP project goes beyond stones and mortar and it is an investment in a stronger, more prosperous Pakistan’, the ambassador said, adding, preservation work strengthens communities, builds a sense of belonging, contributes to economic development, and educates future generations about the tremendous heritage of diversity and tolerance that has existed here for centuries. Ambassador Blome also visited the Lahore Museum – Pakistan’s largest repository of cultural and historical artifacts and the Zamzama cannon during the Lahore yatra.