The 900-year-old Minaret of Jam in western Ghor province which is under threat due to recent floods and damage to its basement finally grabbed the attention of the Afghan government as officials announced on Tuesday that work on the renovation of the endangered monument will kick off in July.
The protection walls of the minaret were destroyed in last week’s flooding, which increased the threat of collapse of the monument.
The minaret is believed to have been built between 1163 and 1203 during the reign of the Ghurid sovereign Ghyias-ud-Din. It has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
It is 62 meters high and was built entirely of baked bricks and is famous for its intricate brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has allocated $2 million for renovation of the minaret, said Rasul Bawari, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture.
He said the renovation of the minaret will take at least three years.
“Based on our planning, the work will start this year in July. It will take three years and UNESCO has accepted to pay $2 million. For this year, $200,000 has been transferred and the remaining cannot be transferred before July,” he said.
Last week, almost 200 workers were assigned to change the direction of the floods in order to prevent further damage to the minaret.