The National Museum in Kabul is going to get a new building. The United States is donating 5 million to create a world class museum that will ultimately house the traveling exhibit which is currently in London. The museum is in decent shape now, but it was bombed out during the war and has no safe places nor temperature or light controlled areas to protect the artifacts. It sits outside of the city surrounded by mountains. Across the street is the Dar-ul-Aman Palace. In this picture you can tell what that building looks like now after decades of war and no one trying to restore it. There are unexploded ordnances in there still.
The Government of Afghanistan's Ministry of Information and Culture also gave $2 million and the Ministry of Defense donated the land.
In the meantime there are dedicated scientists who are working to conserve the treasures already found. This includes Mr. Massoudi, who was one of the men who hid the greatest collection of archives (which make up the bulk of the traveling exhibit of Bactrian gold and Buddhist, Islamic and pre-Islamic items) during Taliban time in a bank vault and didn't tell anyone it was there until he felt it would be safe.
|Mr. Massoudi and me during a recent visit.|
Outside the museum is this stone. I think it says a lot. Preserving Afghan culture won't save the country, but it gives people something to strive toward, and a shared heritage that will matter 30 years from now.