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September 2000 Issue

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Saving Ancient Rock Art in Niger

Embassy in Niamey energizes project to preserve 8,000-year-old rock art in Niger

World Monuments Fund Photo
Giraffe Rock Art site in Niger is on the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, a project of the World Monuments Fund.

It isn't often in a Foreign Service career that a project so interesting lands in your lap.

Last January, the U.S. Ambassador to Niger announced that she was seeking someone for a unique project. She had just received from Under Secretary for Management Bonnie Cohen a book, One Hundred Most Endangered Sites 2000, published by the World Monuments Fund. The book's cover was a photograph of 8,000-year-old rock engravings of giraffes in the northern region of Niger. The attached, hand-written note read, "Hope you can help,...Bonnie."

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Rome and The Holy See

The glory that is Rome is visible everywhere, especially now in a Jubilee Year when the city has once again proclaimed itself caput mundi--the center of the world.


Vatican City was established as an independent state in 1929. Its diplomatic history, however, goes back to the fourth century. Until the mid-19th century, the Pope exercised authority over a temporal domain that included vast tracts of modern Italy. In 1870, the Kingdom of Italy seized all Vatican possessions, denying the Pope his autonomous power. Despite this dispossession, most countries continued to recognize the Holy See as a unique international entity--a state without territory-- and diplomatic relations were maintained.

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Let the Games Begin

The Olympic Games. Just hearing the words invokes the spirit of adventure, the new frontier and the ultimate challenge. You can feel the excitement in the air. The anticipation is increasing in fervor and pitch. It is even visible on large billboards dotting the city, counting down the number of days until the Olympics begin.

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2000 State Magazine, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Human Resources

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