[an error occurred while processing this directive] BBC World Service | Learning English | News English - Words in the News
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

You are in: Home > General & Business English
Words in the News
Monday 16 June 2003
Conference on Afghanistan's cultural heritage
statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan The cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO, is discussing plans to repair the damage done to the cultural heritage of Afghanistan. It aims to coordinate international efforts. This report from Lawrence Pollard:
Listen Listen to the story
This three day conference was originally planned for Kabul but has been moved to Paris because of the unstable situation in the Afghan Capital. And that gives a good idea of how huge the task facing UNESCO really is. The basic aspiration is that culture should serve as a rallying point for nation building - in practice neither the finances nor the security conditions seem very favourable. But Unesco can and will be drawing up a strategy for what needs to be done, based on repair, protection and finance. It wants better coordination of projects and more of the promised finances to materialise. The distance still to travel is enormous, though. The Kabul museum has no roof, may have to be relocated, and the 30% of its collection which hasn't been recently destroyed has to remain in secret storage for its own safety. Another headline issue is Bamiyan, the site of the world famous rock statues of the Buddha, blown up by the Taleban in 2001. Despite ambitious plans to rebuild them as replicas, much more basic and urgent is the shoring up of the cliff face, which is in danger of collapsing, and simply collecting and protecting the remaining fragments of the statues. The woeful ongoing situation of open archaeological sites which are being systematically plundered by antique smugglers will be another priority issue.

Lawrence Pollard, BBC
Listen Listen to the words
ambition, strong desire
a rallying point
a symbol of a political ideal which is intended to inspire people to unite in support
in practice
what happens in practice is what really happens, in contrast to what is supposed to happen
drawing up
planning; preparing and writing out
to materialise
to happen. If a possible event materialises, it actually happens
the distance still to travel is enormous
there is a lot more still to be done
headline issue
an important subject for discussion which makes headlines in the news
accurate copies
shoring up
strengthening something which is becoming weak
ongoing situation
continuing situation; an ongoing situation is continuing to happen
blue arrow Read more about this story
Link to Chinese English language teaching pagesLink to Arabic English language teaching pagesLink to Russian English language teaching pagesLink to Spanish English language teaching pages
A space gif
A grey bar A grey bar A grey bar