22.12.2016 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Korea Supports USD 1.9 million for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre Phase II

22nd December 2016, UNESCO Office in Afghanistan—The on-going Bamiyan Cultural Centre project has received further support with the Government of the Republic of Korea’s commitment to provide USD 1.9 million for its second phase.

Bamiyan, as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, has become a significant driving force to establish cultural programmes for the creative economy. With the presence of H.E. Mr. CHIN Ki-Hoon, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Afghanistan, and Ms. Patricia McPhillips, UNESCO Representative to Afghanistan, the Government of the Republic of Korea committed USD 1.9 million for the support of the second phase of the Bamiyan Cultural Centre project.

 With the Korean Government’s generous support, the first phase of the Bamiyan Cultural Centre was initiated in November 2013, with the aim to maximize the role of culture in contributing towards nation-building in Afghanistan. The original project consists of building a landmark cultural centre with exhibition halls, a performance hall and a tea house. Additionally, mapping the cultural activities of Bamiyan to identify the potential market development through culture, and creating an online and off-line cultural hub was implemented in the first phase.

 Following the successful international design competition which gathered 1,071 entries from 117 different countries, the first stone-laying ceremony was held in June 2016.  Since then, the construction work has moved forward rapidly with the structure up and a roof on the building.  Ms. McPhillips during today’s ceremony expressed appreciation both to the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for their support that made the first phase successful. She added that, “the unwavering support and collaboration the two countries have shown is a firm foundation for a new leap forward,” assuring UNESCO’s continuous endeavor to promote the diversity of cultural expression through the second phase of the project.

 The second phase of the Bamiyan Cultural Centre project will construct a workshop building as a space for cultural education and growth. Based on the cultural mapping implemented in the first phase, the new space will also act as a hub for business women and men, where they can develop needed skills and together enhance the potential of creative industries in Bamiyan to be actualized.

 H.E. Ambassador Chin drew attention to a thousand years of cultural link between Korea and Afghanistan through the Silk Road. He stressed the importance of this collaboration in stating that “the extremely old cultural connection between the two countries will continue in the future by the people of Afghanistan and of Korea. And we hope that the Bamiyan Cultural Centre project with UNESCO could be a milestone for this in the heart of Afghanistan”

 The construction work of the second phase will be starting from spring in 2017, and will aim to finalize the work by summer 2018.

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