The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) has announced a joint project with the Afghan government and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) for research and the construction of a "vast archeological park" at the site of Bala Hissar Citadel in Kabul, said an ALIPH press release.
$2.6 million from the Geneva-based foundation is to be provided over the next four years, and India has also pledged $1 million to the site, said the report.
Valery Freland, ALIPH’s executive director, said that currently, the organization has undertaken over 100 projects internationally, including 12 projects worth $7 million in Afghanistan.
“This project is important for Kabul not only because it will have a significant economic and social impact on the city over the next four years, but also because it has the promise to profoundly transform the lives of its inhabitants, providing them with a place to walk and to rediscover their history. It is a project that brings hope at a decisive moment in Afghanistan’s history,” Freeland said.
The project will focus on archaeological excavations, conservation of artifacts, restoration of the historic buildings, and construction of an educational center.
The excavation will be done in cooperation with La Délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan.
Historic background of Bala Hissar:
Archeologists during recent excavations found new relics from Bala Hissar—an ancient citadel located in the south of the old city of Kabul. The estimated date of its construction is around the 5th century AD.
Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city center, at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain.
The discoveries began with the cooperation of a team of French archeologists three months ago.
According to the archeologists, the relics found at the site derive from ancient Greek culture and tradition.
In the past, archeologists also discovered relics that date back to the Kushan dynasty and Islamic period.
The Kabul Bala Hissar is on more than 230 acres of land and has 22 towers.
“Interventions at Bala Hissar Citadel will ensure that one of the most significant historic sites in the country will be protected for posterity,” said Ajmal Maiwandi, Chief Executive Officer at Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
“The Ministry of Information and Culture will undertake the policy-making process and prioritization will be conducted by the Afghan government, however the funding and attention of international organizations are quite important,” said Afghan acting Minister of Information and Culture, Tahir Zuhair.