The case of Bamiyan in Afghanistan

(BTU Cottbus Senftenberg, Cottbus, Germany)

Keywords: Heritage, Armed Conflict, Risk Preparedness, Bamiyan

The damage which is caused by the armed conflict affected enormously the cultural property of Afghanistan. Since 2001, the risk arising from this anthropogenic agent was declining, but the current situation of the country especially after 2012, proved that armed conflict is still a main potential threat to the heritage site.
I will study the notion of the Risk in the World Heritage Site of Bamiyan and will look closely at the phenomenon of heritage destruction during the armed conflict on the site and the motives leading to the destruction of Buddha Statues in 2001. Also, I will sketch some of the conventional approaches to the theme of risk assessment. I have designed my underlying assumption that: the demolition of Buddha Statues was the result of accumulated risks over time and caused substantial damages, and now the same sources of hazard still exist in the fragile security situation in Afghanistan.
Primarily, I shall limit myself in understanding the risk to cultural heritage in the geographical area of Afghanistan and generalise the case of Bamiyan to other historical sites with a similar situation in the Country. Thus, it will provide a better perspective for the heritage managers to look at the risk assessment on this Site.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
Afghanistan’s heritage is the prominent victim of the long-lasting armed conflict, and this particular session focuses on heritage preservation in conflict zones.


  1. Stovel, Herb (1998):Risk preparedness. Rome: ICCROM.
  2. The ABC method a risk management approach to the preservation of cultural heritage (2016). Ottawa

PID 109_Sharifi