Final International Steering Committee of UNESCO/Japanese Fund-in-Trust for Preservation of Ajina Tepa - Buddhist Monastery on the Silk Road, and Presentation of Central Asia Silk Roads World Heritage Serial Nomination process to International Diplomatic Corps in Tajikistan.
The Final International Steering Committee for the Ajina Tepa project is organized by the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office in collaboration with the Tajik National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. In order to sum up the activities of this project as it comes to a close, and to state recommendations for continuing future scientific work, the steering committee will gather international and national experts as well as representatives of the Japanese Embassy to Tajikistan, Tajik authorities and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Dushanbe.
The Buddhist Monastery of Ajina Tepa ("Devil's Mount") played an important role in spreading Buddhism in Central Asia in the seventh and eighth centuries. A 12-metre reclining Buddha found at Ajina Tepa is the largest surviving statue in Central Asia since the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.
The project, lasting from 2005-2008, was funded by Japan. The team of experts, including young students from Tajik Technical University, met various goals of the project, including the following:
As one of the most representative Buddhist complexes in Central Asia, it is on the priority list of potential sites to be nominated to the World Heritage List from the Republic of Tajikistan.