UNESCO said today that it considers Afghanistan prepared to take back some 1,200 artifacts that were taken out of the country between 1998 and 2001 to protect them from fighting.
The artifacts should be back in the country in the first half of 2007.
A UNESCO team working to stabilize Herat minarets in 2003 (UNESCO)
THE MINARETS OF HERAT: In Afghanistan's leafy western city of Herat, a two-lane road slices between the city's five remaining 15th-century minarets. Every truck, car, bus, motorcycle, and horse-drawn carriage that passes by sends vibrations coursing through the delicate structures.
In particular, the Fifth Minaret -- all 55 meters of it -- seems ready to collapse into a dusty heap of bricks and colored tiles at any moment. A large crack near its base makes drivers speed up just a little as they pass by....(more)
Click on the image to view an audio slideshow of this story by RFE/RL correspondent Grant Podelco.
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