Russia's Culture Ministry got down to blueprinting cultural assistance programmes as soon as the Taliban regime fell, said Mikhail Shvydkoi, then federal Culture Minister, now in charge of the Federal Culture Agency.
"We dispatched there Afghan films and Russian Golden Oldies translated into Afghan languages-Afghans are known to like those movies." Afghan eagerness to employ Russian experts in museum revival is not merely flattering. It shows recognition of Russian museum experts' proficiency, added Mr. Shvydkoi.
Represented in the recent expedition were the world's two largest ethnographic museums, both of St. Petersburg-the Russian Ethnographic Museum and the Kunstkammer, or Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography.
Afghan ethnographic collections have vanished without a trace, said expedition members. To all appearances, the exhibits perished in the Afghan tragedy, so the museum will start from scratch. The country possesses fabulous ethnographic treasures surviving from ancient cultures, which have no analogue throughout the world. Expeditions will be arranged to collect those precious things. Russian museums and universities will train Afghan experts for the revived museum, said Mikhail Shvydkoi.