CONSERVATION OF ART AND ARTIFACTS:
THE TALIBAN WAY

 
Before
 
After

A One-Day Seminar for Museum Conservators, Gallery Owners
and Archaeologists

Sponsored and Sanctioned by
The Ministry for the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice,
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan


Hotel Shariah, Qandahar

Saturday, May 26, 2001



P  R  O  G  R  A  M



IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE BENIFICENT, THE MERCIFUL!

6:00 am (time approximate):  

Public stoning of women convicted of speaking to men
who are not related to them
(Optional event; spouses welcome)


     Don't miss this opportunity to mix with colleagues at this social event!  Buses will depart from the main entrance of the hotel for the Qandahar Municipal Soccer Stadium immediately after the dawn call to prayer, and will return to the hotel directly following the festivities.

8:00 am:  Registration and continental breakfast (Mezzanine)

9:00 am:  Opening prayer and welcome (Panjshir Ballroom)

Mullah Mohammed Omar,
Supreme Leader of the Taliban Regime

9:15 am:  Plenary Session I

Mullah Qudratullah Jamal,
Minister of Information and Culture

"DON'T BE SHY ABOUT BIDDING THOSE BIG JOBS"

     The most important guiding principle of the fanatic Islamist art conservator is a simple one (as, indeed, are all Taliban tenets):  "The right tool for the job."  Your success in art conservation is only as good as the quality and versatility of the tools in your professional kitbag. Are your workdays typically spent in museum storerooms painstakingly stabilizing Persian miniature paintings? No matter:  even a short job out in the field can provide a welcome and reënergizing change of pace. But if you're solicited at a moment's notice to restore, say, a Bactrian-era cliffside relief, the last thing you need is a mad scramble around your local small arms bazaar in search of necessary supplies! Always keep at the ready a robust stockpile of blasting caps, primer cord and Semtex™. While you cannot be expected to have at your disposal the kind of professional-grade equipment the Supreme Leadership employed in its recent world-renowned rehabilitation of the monumental Bamiyan Valley Buddhas (i.e., tanks and rocket launchers), a few pellets of plastique pressed into carefully-chosen geological seams can, in a pinch, completely transform graven idols (you won't even recognize them). Slide presentation followed by Q&A.

10:30 am:  Tea break (Lapis Lazuli Foyer). Network with your colleagues!!


10:45 am:  Breakout sessions. Each session will feature a panel of government-trained artisans and technicians. Topics:


"SCRAPYARD MAGNETS AND THE BULK REHABILITATION
OF MUSIC ON CASSETTE TAPES" (Rigestan Room)

"USING HYDROCHLORIC ACID IN PAPER CONSERVATION:
AT WORK IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE GREAT GAME ERA"
(Kafar Jar Ghar Room)

"ANCIENT POTTERY INTO MODERN BRICKS:
THE TALIBAN GUIDE TO RECYCLING" (Faryab Suite)

12:00 noon:  Buffet lunch: Lamb kebab and rice pilaf (Panjshir Ballroom)

Motivational speech by Mullah Abdul Hakim Mujahid,
former Minister of Information and Culture

"HISTORY BEGINS IN 1995:  
A FOND LOOK BACK AT THE LONG AND STORIED PAST
OF OUR TALIBAN NATION"

     You'll laugh and you'll cry as Brother Abdul regales participants with amusing but deeply inspirational anecdotes about the struggles faced by a motley assortment of ignorant, complex-ridden madrasa fratboys in their single-minded zeal to conceive a truly rabid and cretinous theocracy. And what's the deal with that zany beard law?
     Don't miss this insider's unforgettable look at the warm and humane side of our glorious leadership--not to mention the real story about how madcap Mullah Omar lost that eye!


1:30 pm:  Workshop demonstration (east goal of the buz kashi pitch, behind the hotel)

"PUTTING THE NEW TECHNOLOGY TO WORK"

     There's just no denying it:  Failing to keep on top of the crazy, ever-changing high-tech scene is like being up the Khyber Pass without a Kalashnikov. So sit back, relax and watch as factory-trained representatives of Qandahar Province's famed Spin Buldak Iron Works deftly put their exciting new line of sledge, geologists' and deadblow hammers through their paces on some exquisite inlaid antique furniture of British colonial vintage; an ancient Ashokan-era granite inscription; a paleolithic limestone figurine; and a 14th-century bronze Bodhisattva. Safety glasses will be provided. With a little practice, you too can be expertly wielding these ergonomically balanced drop-forged tools, which permit hours of nonstop, fatigue-free conservation.
     Each attendee will receive a complimentary official Al Qaeda box cutter with detailed user's manual.

2:30 pm:  Plenary Session II (Panjshir Ballroom)

"ART CONSERVATION IN THE 21st CENTURY:
AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE"

     Listen in on a freewheeling roundtable discussion by six Afghan experts on the topic of cutting-edge conservation theory around the world. Chairing the session is Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's cosmopolitan, globetrotting Ambassador to Pakistan. Questions and comments will be entertained from the floor.

3:45 pm:  Tea break (Lapis Lazuli Foyer)

     Take this opportunity to visit the booth of the Ulema Bookshop. Browse their stock, which consists entirely of the Taliban-approved edition of the Koran. This edition, available in a single color and binding, has been lovingly typeset by hand in an exquisite and nearly decipherable angular Kufic script that is just as impressive today as it was in the ninth century. (Participants receive a 20% discount on all Koran orders placed at the seminar.)

4:00 pm:  Plenary Session III (Panjshir Ballroom)

Mullah Salim Haqqani,
Minister of the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice


"OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN ART CONSERVATORS
IN TALIBAN AFGHANISTAN"

4:01 pm: Drawing for the door prize: Live goat (You must be present to win!)

 

Farewell prayer and dismissal (Mullah Salim Haqqani)


GOD IS GREAT!


RETURN TO PETRUSO HOMEPAGE