The Italian city of Matera and the Afghan Bamiyan have become twin cities, authorities in the abovementioned province say. The twinning agreement was signed in the municipal hall of Matera City Hall in the presence of Mayor Raffaello de Ruggieri, Governor of Bamian Province Mohammed Taher Zahir and leaders of the Bamian City Hall.
According to the Afghan side, this agreement provides for a dialogue between the two ancient cities in the field of conservation and restoration of historical monuments. In particular, Italian specialists will collaborate with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture in coordination with UNESCO in the restoration of the historic Zahak and Forty towers.
Italy will also help with the education of students from the School of Archeology at the University of Bamiana. Afghan students will gain practical skills in the educational, conservation and restoration centers of cultural heritage in the city of Matera.
It should be noted here that Matera is an ancient cave city. Its old part is hollowed out in the rock and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In turn, Bamian is known in the world for his famous giant Buddha statues, also hollowed out in the rocks.
It is gratifying that in this difficult time for Afghanistan, its inhabitants are worried about such peaceful problems as the restoration of historical monuments.