Project to support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Roads (a UNESCO/Japanese Funds-In-Trust project): Personnel training in the Republic of Tajikistan

Professor Shigeyuki OKAZAKI (Mukogawa Women’s University) explaining a model of the new proposed museum

 To help safeguard the Bamiyan site in Afghanistan, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties actively initiated a project to preserve the site starting in 2003. This project was instituted in conjunction with UNESCO and research institutes at home and abroad. Local Afghani experts and experts from different countries gather, and meetings have been conducted annually to present the results of the preservation project that year and to discuss policies for the years to come. In 2013, a meeting co-organized by UNESCO and the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research took place on December 10-11th in the City of Orvieto, Italy.
 The meeting was attended by experts from Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, France, and Belgium as well as experts from international bodies like UNESCO, ICOMOS, UNOPS, and the World Bank. The meeting was also attended by Japanese experts from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Wako University, the University of Tsukuba, and Mukogawa Women’s University. Discussion centered on the current state of ongoing preservation of the Bamiyan mural paintings and fragments of the giant Buddha statues. In 2013, a German team installed “Feet”-like structures to ensure the safety of visitors of the Eastern Buddha statue. Experts from different countries presented various views as to the potential to use this structure to help rebuild the giant Buddha statue. Other topics that were discussed in detail were an envisioned museum/cultural center (Japan began actively submitting plans last year), the current status of preservation efforts that started in 2013 at sites around Bamiyan (such as Shahr-e Zohak and Shahr-e Gholghola), problems harmonizing economic development and protection of cultural heritage, and the current state of safeguarding of other cultural heritage sites in Afghanistan (such as the minarets in Herat).

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