13.11.2016 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Building partnerships through shared heritage and cultural exchange

Wednesday 2nd November - An exciting new exhibition opened at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, highlighting the cultural links between Afghanistan and Indonesia. Supported by UNESCO, the exhibition was made possible by the generous financial support of the Indonesian Government.

The result of a landmark collaboration between UNESCO, the National Museum of Afghanistan and the Indonesian National Museum, the exhibition is a unique collection of photographs and panels about the Buddhist sites in Bamiyan and Borobodur, both inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

 Mr. Muhammad Fahim, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan welcomed guests to the museum and introduced the exhibition. H.E. Dr Kamal Sadat, the acting Minister of Information and Culture, Afghanistan, H. E. Mr. Anshaory Tadjudin, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Zardasht Shams all spoke about the importance of cultural heritage as a channel for connecting with other countries through shared histories and common values.

 UNESCO Representative and Director Patricia McPhillips congratulated the staff of both National Museums for their vision, creativity and commitment to creating this exhibition.

 The aim of the exhibition is to illustrate the bond between countries that share a common heritage, even though they may be separated by thousands of miles. The photographs provide an intimate look at two of the world’s most iconic Buddhist sites in Islamic countries, exploring the role they play in modern Afghanistan and Indonesia. Cultural heritage can become a rallying point for former adversaries, encouraging diverse communities to re-build ties and inter-religious dialogue and re-design a common identity and future together.

 The exhibition invites us to consider the historical, educational, social and economic value of the sites, and demonstrates the importance of cultural heritage in strengthening both national identity and international cooperation.

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