The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has started work on renovation of an ancient minaret in the the city of Herat.
The AKDN officials said they collected samples from the 5th minaret of Herat and will send it to Italy for research, adding that a global group of archaeologists are working on it to strengthen this minaret based on standard norms.
“Samples should be sent to Italy for testing. A team of world-class researchers is working on the minaret and it needs to be analyzed,” said Arash Boostani, project manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
Abdul Ahad Abbasi, head of Historical Sites Department of the Ministry of Information and Culture said that after the necessary research, the work of strengthening and repairing the 5th minaret will begin.
“We hope that this minaret will stand firm with the strengthening and repairing work that will start soon,” he said.
The minaret is one of the five remaining minarets of the former Musallah complex, each of them 55 meters tall. The complex initially had 20 minarets built by Queen Gawhar Shad in 1417.
The minaret, which is on the verge of destruction, is located near a wedding hall and an ancient mosque. Officials said it will destroy the two places if it falls.
The complex was fully intact and magnificent until 1885 when it was destroyed by the British in a conflict with Russia. Nine towers were spared from the destruction of 1885, but neglect and earthquakes claimed four more towers.