By: Lailuma Noori
International Museum Day (IMD) is an international day held annually on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community’s preoccupations.
The day was nominated in 1977 based on resolution of general assembly of the International Council of Museums.
Establishment of the museum is aimed to preserve historic artifacts, exhibit, create and strengthen understanding among tribes and communities, identification of various nations and tribes in culture and world civilization, assess and compare historic proverbs and increase and improve of researchers and students’ knowledge.
There are various historic artifacts from era of Islam as the most significant written artifacts in today’s museum is Kofi Quran, written by Usman bin Afan, the third caliph of Islam. Meanwhile, written artifacts of great poets of Persian are also preserved in Afghanistan National Museum. ‘Haft Awrang of Abdul Rahman Jami, Haft Paikar from Nizami Gangavi, HashtBehesht and Laily wa Majnoon of Amir Khisraw Dehlawi’ and others are all preserved in the country’s national museum.
Also, there a number of literal artifacts as Bostan Saadi, written by Mir Emad, Dewan Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil, gifted to Amir Habibullah, Dewan-e-Hafiz, written by Mir Mohammad Muhsinfor Sultan Hassan Bayeqra and others which are now preserved in national museum.
One of the most significant artistic and artifacts preserved in Afghanistan National Museum can be also the minatory made by Ustad Kamaluddin Behzad.
In consideration to increasing artifacts discovered in various parts of the country, besides Kabul, there are museums in Herat, Maimana, Ghazni, Balkh and Kandahar; for example, Herat museum is in top by having more than 4,000 various artifacts.
Despite that most of the country’s historic monuments and artifacts are preserved in museum, trafficking of historic monuments and artifacts is one of the country’s serious cultural concerns.
In recent year, with the support of UNESCO and effort of the ministry of information and culture, a large number of embezzled artifacts of the country have been returned back from EU countries to Afghanistan.
As a result of continued efforts, more than 30,000 artifacts have been collected and submitted back to Afghanistan National Museum.
The first museum in Afghanistan was established in 1919 at the Bagh-i-Bala palace overlooking Kabul, and consisted of manuscripts, miniatures, weapons and art objects belonging to the former royal families.
A few years later the collection was moved to the king’s palace in the center of the city and in 1931 it was officially installed in the present building, which had served as the Municipality.
The original collection was dramatically enriched, beginning in 1922, by the first excavations of the Delegation ArcheologiqueFrancaise en Afghanistan (DAFA).
Through the years other archaeological delegations have added their finds to the museum until today the collection spans fifty millenniums Prehistoric, Classical, Buddhist, hindu and Islamic and stands as one of the greatest testimonies of antiquity that the world has inherited.