26.03.2012 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

A new phase for the preservation of Afghan World Heritage

@UNESCO/Reza Sharifi

The UNESCO Kabul Office and the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture inauguratedPhase IV of the conservation project for the World Heritage Site of Bamiyan funded by the Government of Japan.

H.E. Sayed Makhdum Raheen, Minister of Information and Culture and Mr. Edgar Sharuk, Officer-In-Charge, UNESCO Kabul Office, signed the plan of operations on 18 March in Kabul to officially commence work on the project. This phase of the project represents a further $ 1,500,000 USD towards stabilizing the monuments and archaeological remains of the Valley, improving visitor access, as well as training in World Heritage management for Afghan officials. The project has seen three phases completed between 2003 and 2011 which addressed various conservation and urban development issues threating the site.

In the signing ceremony Mr. Raheen stressed the importance of the Bamiyan World Heritage site for Afghanistan’s national pride and national unity, “At this stage, further international assistance is crucial to preserve Afghanistan’s cultural heritage in light of severe damagedone during the years of war. We thank the Japanese Government for their continued support” he said.

The project for “Safeguarding the Cultural Landscape and Archeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, Phase IV”, aims to achieve the desired state of conservation for removing the site from the list of World Heritage in Danger. This also involves preservation of the remaining fragments of the Buddha sculpture and niches in danger of collapse following the destruction in 2001.

“It is UNESCO Kabul’s great pleasure to start a new phase of activities inthe World Heritage Site of Bamiyan in cooperation with our partners in the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Government of Japan.”Mr. Sharuk said. “We are here to assist the Afghan Government and Afghan people in the areas of Education, Culture, Communication and Science and we look forward to resuming our cultural programme in Bamiyan in 2012.”

The project activities take into account the recommendations of the 10thBamiyanExpert Working Group meeting held in Tokyo last December. During the Working Group meetingthe Afghan government and the international community vowed to continue mutual cooperation to further the conservation and development process and to begin implementation of a long term plan that would ensure the preservation of the site for future generations of Afghans and people from all over the World.




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