18th March 2003
situation in Afghanistan has been dramatic in many respects.
Many people have suffered severely.
It has also been a difficult time for Afghanistan's cultural
heritage. All of us were stunned into speechlessness when
we received the news of the destruction of the famous
But this was not the only harm done to the Afghan heritage.
Many monuments were damaged, documents disappeared and
the illicit traffic of cultural artifacts rampant. The
National Museum was already destroyed a long time ago
and much of its collection stolen or looted.
The situation has certainly changed for the better now,
but it is still dramatic. Shocked by the events many people,
organisations and countries pledged assistance.
Active people from Afghanistan itself and from other countries,
full of hope to rebuild the country have decided to roll
up their sleeves and start the Herculean task of the reconstruction
of the national heritage.
The National Museum appeared among the priorities. The
building needs to be rehabilitated, the staff trained,
the inventory reconstituted and eventually lost collections
brought home. Not only the National Museum, but various
other monuments, sites libraries and archives need to
Notwithstanding the fact that several organisations and
individuals are already actively supporting the Afghan
people, the International Committee of the Blue Shield
(ICBS) notes with distress that essential pledges made
by governments have not yet been honored. The National
Museum for instance can still not function at a basic
Hence the ICBS urges all governments that have made those
pledges to honor them as soon as possible so that the
reconstruction of Afghanistan also includes its valuable
More information about the International committee of
the Blue Shield at: http://icom.museum/emergency.html