LEGGI
BENI IN PERICOLO
INTERVENTI E RECENSIONI
RASSEGNA STAMPA
COMUNICATI DELLE ASSOCIAZIONI
EVENTI
BIBLIOGRAFIA
STORIA e FORMAZIONE del CODICE DEI BENI CULTURALI E DEL PAESAGGIO
LINK
CHI SIAMO: REDAZIONE DI PATRIMONIOSOS
BACHECA DELLE TESI
per ricevere aggiornamenti sul sito inserisci il tuo indirizzo e-mail
patrimonio sos
in difesa dei beni culturali e ambientali

stampa Versione stampabile

Kabul. Afghans restore art shattered by Taliban as peace deal nears
Anna Cara
Associated Press, agosto 2019

The Taliban fighters arrived with hammers and hatred. What they left behind is laid out on tables at the National Museum of Afghanistan, 18 years later: shattered pieces of ancient Buddha figurines, smashed because they were judged to be against Islam.

Museum workers in Kabul have been trying to fit them together again as a nervous country waits for the Taliban and the U.S. to reach a deal on ending America’s longest war. The agreement is expected to lead to intra-Afghan talks in which the extremist group would play a role in shaping Afghanistan’s future.
As the workers pick with gloved hands through hundreds of neatly arranged shards labeled “ears,” ″hands,” ″foreheads” and “eyes,” that future feels especially fragile.

Conservator Sherazuddin Saifi works on pieces of a small statue shattered during a 2001 Taliban rampage on art they judged to be against Islam. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Few details have emerged from several rounds of U.S.-Taliban negotiations held over the past year, and no one knows what a Taliban return to the capital, Kabul, might look like. The country still sees near-daily attacks not only by the long-established Taliban, who now control about half of Afghanistan, but also from a brutal local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

The Taliban’s five-year rule imposed a harsh form of Islamic law, denying girls education, banning music and banishing women to their homes. It ended shortly after the U.S.-led invasion following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to rout the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden.

Sherazuddin Saifi remembers the day the Taliban arrived at the national museum in 2001, a period of cultural rampage in which the world’s largest standing Buddha statues in Bamyan province were dynamited, to global horror.

For several days, the Taliban set upon the Kabul museum’s trove of artifacts from Afghanistan’s millennia-old history as a crossroads of cultures: Greek, Persian, Chinese and other. They selected offending items that showed human forms, even early Islamic ones, shattered them with hammers or smashed them against the floor.

“We could not prevent them. They were breaking all the locks, entering each room and smashing all items into pieces,” said Saifi, who is part of the restoration team. “It was heartbreaking and horrific ... they destroyed their own history.”

More than 2,500 statues were shattered, parts of them ground into powder. Restoration work could take a decade, Saifi said, but “we really feel happy after we put these pieces together again” and revive their meaning.

Among the objects destroyed were the Hadda figurines, a notable collection of Buddhist sculptures discovered decades ago in eastern Afghanistan, near the present-day city of Jalalabad. Photographs that remain of the intact figurines, and the shards themselves, hint at delicate curls of hair or lip.

The Taliban smashed them into thousands of pieces, many the size of fists or even a coin. Now some of the shattered heads are held together with rubber bands in the workshop, part of a sprawling puzzle that can take days of patient effort to join a single piece to another.

The Hadda figurines are the museum’s most visible sign these days of the years-long recovery from the turmoil in Afghanistan that began even before the Taliban, when warlords fought over Kabul in the wake of a Soviet retreat.

Much of the museum’s holdings, thousands of pieces, were looted and the building was shelled, though some treasures were hidden in the presidential palace in Kabul and elsewhere. The roof of the room where the Hadda figurines are now being pieced together was destroyed.

The museum’s recovery began in earnest in 2004, during the period when the defeated Taliban quietly began to regroup. A few hundred objects have been restored in recent years. Now the museum and the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute are compiling as complete an inventory as possible in the hope of tracking down missing artifacts — and saving a digital record of the collection in case of further threat.

That database is more than 99% complete, with more than 135,000 surviving pieces, the Oriental Institute says. For the missing artifacts it hopes to create digital “wanted” posters with their images to post online, “so that these objects can be spotted, and ideally recovered and repatriated.”

Experts and advocates of Afghanistan’s rich history have expressed dismay that cultural preservation apparently has not been on the agenda in the U.S.-Taliban negotiations, which have been focused on a U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees that the country will not be used as a launching pad for global terror attacks.

“If it has been discussed, we are unaware of it, and this is something we have been following closely,” said Adam Tiffen, deputy director of the Virginia-based Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage. The U.S. envoy leading the talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, is the organization’s director emeritus.

“If we do not learn from our past we are a fool, I would say,” said museum director Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, who is very concerned about the potential Taliban return and is making plans to protect the museum’s holdings. “I hope they have learned that this is not against the (law) of Islam, nobody is worshipping these objects, everybody is considering these objects as showing our history.”

He urged the Taliban to go to museums in Doha, Qatar, where the group has a political office, and see the artifacts that are preserved there.

“We have achieved a lot in 18 years” since the Taliban were defeated, Rahimi said. “If they are here in power and there is no change in their mentality, it means we are definitely back where we started and whatever we achieved will be gone.”

Not all the Hadda artifacts were destroyed. A short walk down the hushed corridor from the workshop that reflects so much Taliban carnage, a complete figure of a seated Buddha is on display, dating from the third or fourth century.

“His face suggests gentle meditation,” the placard says.

https://www.apnews.com/58b1656e0c1140c9ac05a52712d3b4f7


news

01-03-2021
RASSEGNA STAMPA aggiornata al giorno 01 marzo 2021

16-02-2021
Audizione del Professor Salvatore Settis presso Assemblea Regionale Siciliana

08-02-2021
Appello di Italia Nostra - sezione di Firenze: Manifesto Boboli-Belvedere, febbraio 2021

31-01-2021
La FCdA contro il nuovo attacco all’archeologia preventiva e l’estensione del silenzio-assenso

18-01-2021
Petizione Petizione "No alla chiusura della Biblioteca Statale di Lucca"

27-12-2020
Da API-Mibact: La tutela nel pantano. Il personale Mibact fra pensionamenti e rompicapo assunzioni

25-12-2020
CORTE CONTI: TUTELA PATRIMONIO BASATA SU LOGICA DELL’EMERGENZA

03-09-2020
Storia dell'arte cancellata, lo strano caso di un dramma inesistente, di Andrea Ragazzini

06-06-2020
Sicilia. Appello di docenti, esperti e storici dell'arte all'Ars: "Ritirate il ddl di riforma dei Beni culturali"

06-05-2020
Due articoli da "Mi riconosci? sono un professionista dei beni culturali"

05-05-2020
Confiscabile il bene culturale detenuto all’estero anche se in presunta buona fede

30-04-2020
In margine a un intervento di Vincenzo Trione sul distanziamento nei musei

26-04-2020
Vi segnaliamo: Il caso del Sacramentario di Frontale: commento alla sentenza della Corte di Cassazione

25-04-2020
Turismo di prossimità, strada possibile per conoscere il nostro patrimonio

24-04-2020
Un programma per la cultura: un documento per la ripresa

22-04-2020
Il 18 maggio per la Giornata internazionale dei musei notizie dall'ICOM

15-04-2020
Inchiesta: Cultura e lavoro ai tempi di COVID-19

15-04-2020
Museums will move on: message from ICOM President Suay Aksoy

08-04-2020
Al via il progetto di formazione a distanza per il personale MiBACT e per i professionisti della cultura

06-04-2020
Lettera - mozione in vista della riunione dell'Eurogruppo del 7 aprile - ADESIONI

30-03-2020
Da "Finestre sull'arte" intervista a Eike Schmidt

30-03-2020
I danni del terremoto ai musei di Zagabria

29-03-2020
Le iniziative digitali dei musei, siti archeologici, biblioteche, archivi, teatri, cinema e musica.

21-03-2020
Comunicato della Consulta di Topografia Antica sulla tutela degli archeologi nei cantieri

16-03-2020
Lombardia: emergenza Covid-19. Lettera dell'API (Archeologi del Pubblico Impiego)

12-03-2020
Arte al tempo del COVID-19. Fra le varie iniziative online vi segnaliamo...

06-03-2020
Sul Giornale dell'Arte vi segnaliamo...

06-02-2020
I musei incassano, i lavoratori restano precari: la protesta dei Cobas

31-01-2020
Nona edizione di Visioni d'Arte, rassegna promossa dall'Associazione Silvia Dell'Orso

06-01-2020
Da Finestre sull'arte: Trump minaccia di colpire 52 obiettivi in Iran, tra cui siti culturali. Ma attaccare la cultura è crimine di guerra

Archivio news