Code 220300
PublishDate: Monday, February 22, 202115:27

Taliban issues order forbidding excavation and trade of artifacts

The Taliban said Sunday it has instructed all its members including its “military units” to protect and preserve Afghanistan’s heritage sites and artifacts and to refrain from excavating and selling relics either in the country or internationally.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_In a statement published on the group’s website, the Taliban stated it has instructed: “all officials, commissions/departments chiefs, provincial and district governors, military unit and group commanders, the #Mujahideen and all compatriots” to adhere to the order.

The group stated: “As Afghanistan is a country replete with ancient artifacts and antiquity, and that such relics form a part of our country’s history, identity and rich culture, therefore all have an obligation to robustly protect, monitor and preserve these artifacts.”

According to the statement, no one may excavate, transport or sell, and all Taliban members “must prevent the excavation of antiquities and preserve all historic sites like old fortresses, minarets, towers and other similar sites so to safeguard them from damage, destruction, and decay.”

The Taliban said its Commission for Cultural Affairs is tasked with the duty of guarding and preserving ancient artifacts, and that all other branches of the group including their “military commission, governors and other Mujahideen must coordinate and cooperate with the Cultural Commission in protecting these artifacts.”

The group stated that all trade, contracts, and transport of artifacts are forbidden with immediate effect.

“No one should try to disturb such sites or think about using them for profit,” the group stated.

The Taliban has however in the past been accused of plundering and destroying ancient collections and heritage sites.  

In 1992, the Taliban reportedly looted the National Museum of Afghanistan which experts claim resulted in the loss of up to 70 percent of the 100,000 artifacts stored in the facility.

In August 1998, the Taliban went on to destroy the #Puli_Khumri Public Library.

The library contained over 55,000 books and old manuscripts and was considered by Afghans as one of the most valuable and beautiful collections of their nation and culture in the country while through 2001 the Taliban was reported to have destroyed at least 2,750 ancient works of art at the National Museum of Afghanistan.

But the most devastating act was carried out in March 2001 when the Taliban obliterated the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

The Buddhas were blown up on the apparent orders of the then leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The act sent shock waves around the world and today all that remains of the statues that had stood in niches carved into a mountain overlooking the city of #Bamiyan is the cavities in which they had stood for over 1,500 years. In a statement published on the group’s website, the Taliban stated it has instructed: “all officials, commissions/departments chiefs, provincial and district governors, military unit and group commanders, the Mujahideen and all compatriots” to adhere to the order.

The group stated: “As Afghanistan is a country replete with ancient artifacts and antiquity, and that such relics form a part of our country’s history, identity and rich culture, therefore all have an obligation to robustly protect, monitor and preserve these artifacts.”

According to the statement, no one may excavate, transport or sell, and all Taliban members “must prevent the excavation of antiquities and preserve all historic sites like old fortresses, minarets, towers and other similar sites so to safeguard them from damage, destruction, and decay.”

The Taliban said its Commission for Cultural Affairs is tasked with the duty of guarding and preserving ancient artifacts, and that all other branches of the group including their “military commission, governors and other Mujahideen must coordinate and cooperate with the Cultural Commission in protecting these artifacts.”

The group stated that all trade, contracts, and transport of artifacts are forbidden with immediate effect.

“No one should try to disturb such sites or think about using them for profit,” the group stated.

The Taliban has however in the past been accused of plundering and destroying ancient collections and heritage sites.  

In 1992, the Taliban reportedly looted the National Museum of Afghanistan which experts claim resulted in the loss of up to 70 percent of the 100,000 artifacts stored in the facility.

In August 1998, the Taliban went on to destroy the Puli Khumri Public Library.

The library contained over 55,000 books and old manuscripts and was considered by Afghans as one of the most valuable and beautiful collections of their nation and culture in the country while through 2001 the Taliban was reported to have destroyed at least 2,750 ancient works of art at the #National_Museum of Afghanistan.

But the most devastating act was carried out in March 2001 when the Taliban obliterated the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

The Buddhas were blown up on the apparent orders of the then leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The act sent shock waves around the world and today all that remains of the statues that had stood in niches carved into a mountain overlooking the city of Bamiyan is the cavities in which they had stood for over 1,500 years.

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