The Centre for International Heritage Activities (CIH) in Afghanistan has been developing a programme for Culture and Development since 2006. The CIH hopes to contribute to the reincarnation of Afghanistan's museums. In April 2007, the national museum in Kabul opened an exposition with photographs of the Tashqurghan bazaar before it was destroyed by the Soviets. Now, in November 2008, extensive effort is being devoted to the renovation of the museum in Kabul and the restoration of the Bagh-e Jehan Nama palace complex in Khulm, formerly known as Tashqurghan.
The project is intended to regenerate interest in Afghan culture among both the country's population and the international public. The National Museum's opening exposition had a purpose in travelling to the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and then to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Later this exposition will be included in Khulm's permanent collection. An anthropological museum will be established in the palace complex. Before that happens, however, much must be done. Walls are collapsing and mines can be seen here and there. Four wrecked tanks will also have to be removed. The AFIR architect bureau has been contracted for the restoration. This year local authorities and bricklayers started restoring the walls that surround the palace.
AFIR architects are also responsible for renovating the National Museum in Kabul. A permanent exposition is to be opened there in 2011 with objects from all of the country's ethnic groups. The National Museum should then be restored to its 1979 state.
At both sites, the work is done in close cooperation with the local population. Extensive knowledge transfers take place between the Afghan and the European professionals, creating a new infrastructure for Afghanistan's museum sector. When the project is concluded in 2012, both the museum in Kabul and the palace and bazaar in Khulm are expected to be popular tourist attractions.