The National Museum of Afghanistan is open once again and the Taliban, whose members once smashed their way through the facility destroying irreplaceable pieces of the country’s national heritage, now guard the building located in the capital Kabul.
Currently, about 50-100 people visit the museum each day, some of them Taliban members.
The museum, which hosts artefacts from the Paleolithic period to the 20th century, reopened just more than a week ago for the first time since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August amid the chaotic withdrawal of the US and NATO troops.
Its director, Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, and his staff have so far been allowed to continue in their positions although they, like many of Afghanistan’s civil servants, haven’t received salaries since August.
Only the security guards have changed, Rahimi said, with Taliban now replacing the police contingent who used to guard the building and providing women security guards to check female visitors. Currently, about 50-100 people visit the museum each day.
Taliban fighter Mansoor Zulfiqar said that this is from our ancient history, so we came to see it.
Appointed as a security guard at the Interior Ministry he said that “I’m very happy,” he said of his first visit to the museum, marvelling at his country’s national heritage.