The reports of the Taliban destruction of the cultural heritage of the area
they came to
rule just a few years ago are (alongside their human rights record) indeed a
cause for concern. The situation is also a further symptom of the total
the international community to be able to do anything about events of this
ineffectively exchange diplomatic notes of protest. Unfortunately since few
countries recognise the Taliban, threatening to cut off diplomatic relations
in protest would not in this case be a terribly effective lever.
Today's newspapers contained some quotes from Kadratulla Djamal, the
"Minister of Culture" of Afganistan, rather an empty title one would think,
by the time they've finished, I wonder what this "culture" will actually
There is apparently an Association for the Protection of the Cultural
heritage of Afganistan, has anybody any details of publications or websites
of this group, or indeed anything on the web concerning this destruction?
I am sure that many of us on this list share M.Jesús Banús' outrage. I
wonder though whether anybody out there has any ideas what concrete steps we
could take as individuals to halt this destruction.
----- Original Message -----
From: M.Jesús Banús <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 6:53 PM
> Hello, fellow Britarchers,
> I'm a little annoyed to notice that, being this an archaeology related
> being we all suposedly interested in archaeology and study of past
> has nothing to say in connection with the news I heard two days ago. It
> the Taliban religious authorities have decreed the destruction of ALL
> their territory, whether they represent people or animals, according to
> law. This will mean the destruction of ALL remains of past civilisations
> country, including the 2000 years old giant Buda statues sculptured in
> Today the TV news said that the destruction has already begun, and the
> "victims" seem to be the pieces in the Kabul Museum. This is only another
> sample of what fanatism is capable to do; it's the same cruelty that led
> to destroy centuries old mesquites in Bosnia-Herzegovina some years ago
> Don't we have anything to say? They not only pretend to physically destroy
> they also try to erase all possible cultural background, so that they can
> finish their victims and all their identity signals. And here we are,
> I know that everyone of us has problems, and they are all very serious;
> Taliban gang is destroying a whole country while the world looks aside!
> Sorry for this outburst; I only tried to share my sorrow and rage for all
> horrible facts. Thanks for your patiente.
> M. Jesús Banús