Open Call: ‘International Architectural Ideas Competition for the National Museum of Afghanistan (IAIC_NMA)’

Existing National Museum of Afghanistan, © C.Manhart, UNESCO

The Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan published an open call for design proposals from architects, engineers, planners, designers and artists around the world for the new National Museum of Afghanistan.

With the funding support of the Government of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, this call is a one-stage ideas competition to generate design proposals for an architectural master plan and detailed building design for the site of the National Museum of Afghanistan. While it is expected that in the future a new museum will be designed and built according to international standards, this ideas competition shall help to visualize what a modern museum in the 21st century in context of today’s Afghanistan will look like. A prestigious Jury will review the entries and lucrative prizes will be awarded.

Noting that UNESCO has collaborated extensively with the National Museum of Afghanistan and provided continued support concerning the existing building and collections over the last 10 years, UNESCO will be associated with the development of the new museum which will lie adjacent to the already existing building. We are excited for this upcoming expansion which will surely reinforce the Museum’s symbol for a peaceful re-construction of Afghanistan, and for the Afghan people to learn about and enjoy their remarkable cultural heritage.


  • Announcement of competition: 05 March, 2012
  • Registration Deadline: 16 April, 2012
  • Submission of Design Proposal: 06 June, 2012
  • Announcement of the results: July 2012

For more details, please refer to the competition’s official website at:

Contact: UNESCO Kabul Office b.cassar(at)

                UNESCO Museums Section n.hayashi(at)

For details on UNESCO museum projects in Afghanistan, please refer to:

The Museums of Ghazni, Afghanistan (2010-12)

Successful completion of a two-year pilot project to inventory, conserve and restore collections of the National Museum of Afghanistan (2004-2007)

The Greek Government's Initiative for the National Museum of Afghanistan (2004-2007)

The United States funded a UNESCO project for the National Museum of Afghanistan (2004-2007)

Museum-in-Exile: Swiss Foundation safeguards over 1,400 Afghan artefacts (2000-2007)

The Rebirth of the National Museum of Afghanistan (2001-2007)

Film documentary on the lost treasures of the National Museum of Afghanistan (1988)

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