HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Cultural experts and residents of western Herat province say they are concerned about the destruction of some historical monuments in the province.
The say winter is approaching when the possibility of further destruction of historical sites increases and the government should take immediate steps to ensure their safety and preservation.
About one and a half months ago, devastating earthquakes jolted Herat province, killing and injuring more than 6,000 people and causing huge financial losses to the people.
Some ancient places and historical places in Herat were also damaged. Historic moments are a symbol of cultural identity and represent important piece of history,
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Nasir Arab, a resident of Herat city, while visiting the grand mosque, said Herat was among Afghanistan’s ancient provinces and the government and institutions should restore a number of monuments and historic sites in the province.
Munir Ahmad, another inhabitant of Herat, said the government must be determined to restore historic sites and repair damages caused to some monuments.
On the other hand, Syed Abdul Aziz Chishti, the guardian of the grand mosque, told Pajhwok that several parts of the mosque had damaged, including four porches and six garlands.
He urged the government to maintain and restore the mosque to its previous position in order it could attract visitors as before. He said the mosque should be paid attention without any delay.
Cultural experts say historical monuments represent an important piece of history and cultural identity of a nation and should be protected and preserved for future generations.
Agha Gul Haidari, a cultural figure, expressed his concern about damages caused to a number of historical sites and places in the recent earthquakes.
He said the government and other organizations should pay serious attention to repairing and reconstructing damaged historical sites.
However, Hafiz Raqibullah Rizawni, head of historical monuments at the Department of Information and Culture, while acknowledging that some monuments had been damaged, said that after the earthquakes they sent survey teams to various districts, including the provincial capital, to examine historic sites.
He also asked the government and organizations that work for preservation of heritage sites to cooperate with them in restoration historical monuments in Herat.
Rizwani added their main focus would be on preventing further destruction of historical places in winter, but they needed cooperation of various institutions and organizations in this regard.