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In Focus
16 February 2005
Situated at an intersection of the Silk Roads, Afghanistan, crossroad of civilizations, has been nurtured by Achaemenid Persia and the Greece of Alexander the Great as well as by Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Having borne witness to this perpetual interchange and suffered the assaults of fanaticism and war, the country’s cultural heritage is now coming back to life. And this spirit of hope in the future stimulated the experts who met only recently to draw up a plan for the development of the Bamiyan site whose 1000-year-old treasures - the largest standing Buddhas in the world - were blown up in 2001 by the Taliban, destroyers of memory.

"Pashtun boy in Botkhak village"
© Reza / Webistan

Bamiyan: Consolidating the remains
Monuments and living traditions: Conservation policies and projects

World Heritage: Cultural sites to be protected

Pillaged cultural goods : Promoting their return

Silk,Scents and Spice (Book)

Eternal Afghanistan (Photo book) 

IntimitÚs afghanes (Book, in French) 
Museum N░219/220 Facing History: museums and heritage in conflict and post-conflict situations (Periodical) 
News and Events
Documentary film : “Afghanistan, treasures in danger” France
19 02 2005 - 20 02 2005 To be broadcast on ARTE (France) 19 February 2005 at 8:40 pm and 20 February at 2:00 pm. This documentary is in part dedicated to the activities carried out by UNESCO and its partners in the aftermath of Taliban’s dynamiting of the two giant Buddha statues of Bamiyan in March 2001. 
Eleven States Ratify Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention Paris, France
16 02 2005 - Eleven States (Algeria, Mauritius, Japan, Gabon, Panama, China, Central African Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Republic of Korea) have now ratified the Convention on the Safeguarding on the Intangible Cultural Heritage*, adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2003. 
Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation ends 13th session Paris, France
09 02 2005 - 10 02 2005 The Intergovernmental Committee has expressed its concern over the continued pillaging of cultural objects in Iraq and urged UNESCO and its partners, ICOM, INTERPOL and the Italian Caribinieri, to continue their efforts to stem the illicit trafficking of Iraqi cultural heritage. 
World Summit on the Information Society Paris, France
08 02 2005 Director-General Matsuura called the sixth meeting of the Intersectoral Task Force on UNESCO’s contribution to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on 8 February 2005. The second phase of the summit is scheduled in Tunisia from 16 to 18 November 2005.
Just Published
World Heritage Newsletter N° 47  
New Site

UNESCO Cultural Heritage Laws Database This new facility makes easily available the relevant national legislation, in the country of origin as well as abroad, to public and private entities or individuals having a legal question concerning an object that may have been stolen or pillaged, and/or illegally exported, imported or acquired. 

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