From Oxford to Afghanistan

The Chantry Library recently gifted several conservation publications to the National Gallery of Afghanistan in Kabul. The project ‘Assessing the Condition of the National Art Collection’ is organised by three bodies, the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society in Afghanistan (FCCS), an NGO in Kabul dedicated to the preservation of Afghan culture and heritage and the empowerment of civil society; S&N Consultancy, a Canadian international consulting company; and the Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information. The project is funded by the British Council, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The British Council’s £30m Cultural Protection Fund is set up to protect cultural heritage at risk due to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2018, a small team of conservators from the UK travelled to Kabul to assess the condition of the National Gallery’s collection, much of which was damaged due to the many years of conflict in the city. The team also assessed the training and development needs of conservation staff at the gallery. The need for essential publications on Conservation and Museum management became very clear, but access to these is virtually impossible within the country.

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