11th Expert Working Group Meeting for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Property
In conjunction with UNESCO and research institutions from at home and abroad, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties have long labored to conserve cultural heritage in Afghanistan. Research institutions in different countries and Afghanistan have cooperated specifically to safeguard the Bamiyan Valley site, primarily via UNESCO/Japanese Funds-In-Trust projects for Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site. Safeguarding of the site is a key component of the Cooperative Projects for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in West Asia made possible by an Institute fund to cover operating expenses.
An expert working group meeting is held annually to discuss guidelines for the preservation and use of the site. This year, the meeting was held in Aachen, Germany from December 10 to 11 under the joint auspices of UNESCO and the RWTH Aachen University. The meeting was attended by experts from Afghanistan, Germany, France, and Italy and from international bodies such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, and UNOPS. Japanese experts from the Institute, the Nara Institute, and Mukogawa Women’s University were also in attendance. In addition to the ongoing topics of conservation of wall paintings and preserving fragments of the Buddha statues, the meeting featured reports on the current state of ruins located throughout the valley and road and airport improvement plans. In addition, blueprints for an envisioned museum, facilitated by a research agreement between the Institute and Mukogawa Women’s University, were presented at the meeting. The meeting led to a practical discussion of both tourism development and long-term preservation of the site.