Grant to the Constitutional Court Trust for Preservation of the Constitutional Court Art Collection

Media Advisory
U.S. Consulate General
1 Sandton Drive, Sandhurst, Johannesburg
October 23, 2019

U.S. Consulate General Announces Grant Award to the Constitutional Court Trust for Preservation of the Constitutional Court Art Collection

The Constitutional Court Trust received $130,000 (R1.9 million) from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for preservation of the Constitutional Court Art Collection (CCAC).  The CCAC is a unique collection of over 400 artworks donated by artists and private collectors to celebrate the birth of democracy in South Africa.  The collection began in 1995, as South Africa’s new constitution was being brought to life.  The works are thematically linked, and were chosen, and in some cases created, to memorialize South Africa’s difficult past and express her people’s hope for a brighter future.  This AFCP grant, among the largest awarded in Africa this year, will preserve the collection of artworks, tapestries, and sculptures housed at the Constitutional Court building on Constitution Hill, ensuring that these South African artworks are safeguarded and accessible to future generations of artists, scholars and South Africans.

South Africa has won several AFCP grants in recent years, including an award to the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Foundation, to transcribe and document indigenous southern African music for research, performance, conservation, preservation and promotion of southern Africa’s rich musical heritage, and the Friends of Johannesburg Art Gallery, to carry out a conservation project on important paper-based archival materials associated with the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA).

The Constitutional Court Trust was selected to receive the grant following a worldwide competition for funds provided by American Ambassadors in more than 100 countries to support the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression.

U.S. Consul General to Johannesburg Michael McCarthy praised the project, observing that “I am very pleased that the U.S. Mission to South Africa has played a role in preserving numerous aspects of South African culture over the past several years.  From South African indigenous music, to the FUBA archives, and now the Constitutional Court Art Collection, these projects underscore not only the global importance of South Africa’s rich heritage, but also our shared responsibility to help protect it.”

Constitutional Court Trust Chairperson Justice Sisi Khampepe states: “I am profoundly grateful to the Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation Fund for the grant of US$130,000 to the Constitutional Court Art Collection.  This will go a long way in preserving this unique collection of artworks, largely donated by artists and private collectors to celebrate the advent of democracy in South Africa.  Now amounting to close to 600 artworks by over 400 artists, the CCAC continues to stimulate and enrich education, critical debate and research on the transformative role of the Constitution and the Constitutional Court in South Africa, based on the values of freedom, dignity and equality.”