The head of the Behzad Gallery in Herat, Mohammad Ibrahim Habibi, told TOLOnews that the gallery that was barricaded on Tuesday by armed employees of Herat's Department of Vice and Virtue, reopened today.
Habibi said that the gallery was blocked because two little girls were learning there, and the department of Vice and Virtue said that teaching girls and face-painting should be avoided.
"A Mawlawi from the Department of Virtue and Vice came and opened the gallery. But he said that you have disobeyed, and the disobedience is you educated the girls,” he said.
Herat Department of Vice and Virtue said that Behzad's Gallery was not blocked by employees of the department.
Some female students in Herat who have been forbidden by the Department of Vice and Virtue from visiting the Behzad Art Gallery and studying art, urged the Islamic Emirate to reopen educational institutions for girls.
"I hope that the gallery would one day reopen for us, but the news of its closure made me sad," said Bahar Akbari, a student at the gallery.
“After the closure of the universities, we came here. We were working here and learning art, but it has been eight months since they closed gallery for us,” said Elaha Ataee, a student of the Gallery.
Meanwhile, students asked officials to support the development of art and artists.
"Yesterday's incident was very unfortunate for us, and we were afraid that this course would be closed,” said Mohammad Daud Ibrahimi, an artist.
“We ask the Department of Virtue and Vice to reopen the course to girls,” said Sadiq Habibi, an artist.
The Behzad Gallery is located in Haoz-e-Malik, one of Herat's historical areas.
In the Behzad Gallery, art instructors instruct students in painting and miniature painting.
There is also an exhibition of artistic pieces in this gallery, and visitors stop by every day to view these works.