Press Release 2012
Officials Celebrate Opening of New Exhibit at the National Museum of Afghanistan
April 30, 2012
Yesterday, Ambassador Crocker joined Minister of Information and Culture, Makhdoom Raheen, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture Omar Sultan, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, Omara Khan Masoudi, ambassadors from several other countries, and other officials at the opening ceremony for the new Buddhist Heritage of Afghanistan Exhibit at the National Museum of Afghanistan.
This public exhibition showcases for the first time selected masterpieces from the museum collection, focusing on artifacts from different Buddhist sites in southern Afghanistan. The exhibition was sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Dutch Center for Heritage (C.I.E.). It highlights the cultural richness and historical legacy of Afghanistan for both the Afghan people and the international community.
In a ceremony opening the exhibit at the National Museum, Minister Raheen recognized the prior support for the museum from the international community. He emphasized that there is important work yet to be done to ensure the long-term preservation of Afghanistan’s irreplaceable cultural heritage, which the National Museum strives to protect. He also noted that Afghanistan’s heritage is part of our shared world heritage.
Ambassador Crocker stressed the United States’ continuing commitment to the National Museum. He noted that the Embassy is supporting external security upgrades for the museum, sponsoring a design competition for its new building, and supporting a partnership with the University of Chicago for the re-cataloging and long-term preservation of the museum’s existing collection.
Ambassador Crocker also emphasized the importance of preserving Afghanistan’s rich cultural patrimony. He related how the cultural legacy of Afghanistan, including the pieces in the new exhibit, reveal a diverse, vibrant culture based on strong trade relations and tolerance. The Ambassador expressed confidence that Afghanistan’s future will hold much of the same.