Sumary of UN agency suspends Afghan cultural celebration:
- After the Taliban swept triumphantly into the capital Kabul, everything was put on hold.
- Afghanistan once stood on the legendary Silk Road trade route, a crossroads of ancient civilizations.
- In March 2001, the Taliban spent weeks using dynamite and artillery to blow up two giant 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha, carved into a cliff at Bamiyan, some 175 kilometers (78 miles) west of Kabul.
- “We judge by history, and 20 years ago, there were terrible results,” Ernesto Ottone, Unesco’s assistant director general for culture, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
- Philippe Marquis, director of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan, told AFP he remains cautious about what will happen.
- However, the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul was achieved with barely a shot being fired, and the museum appears to have emerged unscathed.
- Only a third of the thousands of priceless objects in Kabul’s museum have been cataloged.
- Kabul museum director Mohammad Fahim Rahimi told The New York Times last month the Taliban had promised their protection.