"A nation can stay alive when it's culture and history stay alive" : Afghanistan's ongoing battle to protect its cultural heritage from looting, war, and terrorism.
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Since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, many have heard the story and seen the images of the looting in Iraq, especially at the Baghdad Museum. While the world was quick to react to the events in Iraq, similar events occurring for the past thirty years in Afghanistan have largely been ignored. The archaeological record in Afghanistan stretches back thousands of years making it a key part in understanding Central Asian history, but the country's once rich supply of cultural artifacts and archaeological sites is being destroyed by looting, war, and deliberate acts of destruction. This thesis examines the past and current circumstances surrounding the loss of Afghan cultural property and institutions such as the National Museum in Kabul. It further demonstrates how the protection of sites and utilization of cultural heritage can play a role in the rebuilding of a nation after three decades of war.