Bibliotheca Afghanica-Afghanistan Museum in Bubendorf, Switzerland
Street address: Afghanistan-Institut, Brϋhlstrasse 2, CH-4416 Bubendorf, Switzerland
Telephone: 41 (0) 61 921 9838, 41 (0) 61 933 9877
Fax: 41 (0) 61 933 9878
Contact: Paul Bucherer-Dietschi Director
The Swiss Afghanistan Institute in Bubendorf was originally founded in 1975 as a repository for historical papers about Afghanistan. During a tour of Afghanistan in July 1998, its Director Paul Bucherer-Dietschi was requested by both the Taliban in the south and the Northern Alliance to assist them in the protection of the artifacts of Afghanistan. The main aim of the Afghanistan Museum in Exile is to collect the remains of the Afghan cultural heritage, ethnographic and archeological and keep them in a safe place where they can be preserved and exhibited until such a time as the situation in Afghanistan has stabilised. They will then be returned to Afghanistan under the umbrella of UNESCO. No articles may be purchased by the museum as this would be an encouragement to looters, but donations and items confiscated by authorities can find a home here. Ahmad Shah Masood, Afghan Commander of the Northern forces who was killed by a suicide bomber on 9 September 2001, donated US$5,000 to the Afghanistan Museum in Exile and members of the Taliban have also visited the museum and donated artifacts. Following contributions from the Swiss government for the acquisition of land, donations of time by Afghan architect Asef Alemyar and a number of Afghan craftsmen and artists, and the sanction of King Zahir Shah, the museum opened in 1999. It currently houses 1,118 pieces from Afghanistan.