Under the high patronage of H.E. Abdulaziz bin Mohamed Al-Rowas, Advisor for Cultural Affairs to His Majesty the Sultan of Oman, some 30 experts gathered in Salalah, Oman, from 3 to 5 December 2018, to discuss the future of the World Heritage property “Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley” and to enhance cooperation between relevant stakeholders.
Financially supported by the Government of Japan and organized jointly by the Government of Afghanistan, UNESCO, GUtech University of Technology in Muscat, and RIO – Research Centre Indian Ocean, a three-day technical meeting was organized to discuss the recent decisions of the World Heritage Committee and improve awareness on international debates around the ethics of recovery and reconstruction of cultural heritage, aiming at removing the property from the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The activities carried out by the Government of Afghanistan, UNESCO and national/international experts through generous financial assistance from the international community were presented to assess the progress of work in Bamiyan. During the meeting, development initiatives to increase the quality of livelihood of the local community were also presented by the Afghan Government, including a by-pass road and a stone-pavement road in front of the main Buddha cliff, as well as the Bamiyan Strategic Master Plan recently approved by the President of Afghanistan.
The participants undertook visits to the World Heritage property “Land of Frankincense” in Salalah, including the Al Baleed and Khor Rohri museums and interpretation centres to reflect on the possible applicability of the Omani archaeological park model to the Bamiyan World Heritage property. Inspired by the field visit to the archaeological park in Oman and the Salalah Guidelines for the Management of public archaeological sites, participants actively discussed opportunities, challenges and how to protect and promote the Bamiyan World Heritage property.