Will Taliban Preserve Cultural Heritage in Afghanistan?

Published August 26th, 2021 - 11:26 GMT
The Buddhas of Bamiyan valley
The Buddhas of Bamiyan valley (Twitter)
Highlights
UNESCO calls the Taliban to preserve the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has two World Heritage sites and 4 nominated sites.

The UN cultural agency called for the protection of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and to ensure a safe environment for artists, days after the Taliban swept to power in Kabul.

Afghanistan is home to two Unesco World Heritage sites, including the Bamiyan Valley, where the Taliban blew up two giant Buddha statues.

UNESCO early this year marked 20 years of the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas. After the destruction, all that remains are empty niches—and memories.

“The tragic destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in March 2001, which was broadcast across the globe, led to a global recognition of the need to protect cultural heritage at risk," UNESCO.

UNESCO said Afghanistan’s diverse heritage and cultural sites were an integral part of Afghan history and identity and of importance for humanity as a whole.

UNESCO statement and tweeted:


"We are calling for the preservation of Afganisthan cultural heritage in its diversity, in full respect of international law, and for taking all necessary precautions to spare and protect cultural heritage from damage and looting."

This includes the Old City of Herat, the UNESCO world heritage sites of the Minaret and the archaeological remains of Jam, and the cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley.

"Any damage or loss of cultural heritage will only have adverse consequences on the prospects for lasting peace and humanitarian relief for the people of Afghanistan."

The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Vairocana Buddha and Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley of central Afghanistan, 130 kilometers northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 meters.

Those days many Afghan artists already have started destroying their own art out of fear. Afghanistan is becoming black and white again. It’s losing its beauty, diversity, and colors.


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