New National Museum building design chosen from international competition

Ministry of Information and Culture

Afghan Minister for Information and Culture, Dr. Sayed Makhdom Raheen, speaks to ceremony guests.

Afghanistan’s national treasures will soon have a new home. Afghan Minister for Information and Culture, Dr. Sayed Makhdom Raheen, announced the winners of the International Architectural Ideas Competition who will design the new building to house the National Museum of Afghanistan at an awards ceremony in Kabul on Monday, September 17.

“The National Museum of Afghanistan is the memories of our ancestors; the achievements and the pride generated by our ancestors are kept here,” said Minister Raheen addressing the ceremony guests.

The new National Museum building will be built on eight acres of land next to the present museum building. Out of 72 building designs from 31 different countries submitted for the project, the top three were chosen and presented awards at the ceremony. The top two designs hail from Spain, while the third design is from Germany. The current museum building was built under King Amanullah in 1922 and does not have the necessary capacity to preserve the National Museum’s cherished relics.

The National Museum staff has worked diligently over the last decade to complete the emergency reconstruction of the Museum, restore artifacts, salvage the museum’s catalogue with the vital partnership and support of numerous foreign nations, including Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands; organizations such as UNESCO, the British Museum, the Musee Guimet, the University of Vienna, and the Netherlands’ Center for International Heritage Activities.

“The Ministry of Information and Culture would continue efforts to discover and return more historical Afghan relics in the coming years,” said Minister Raheen.

US ambassador Hugo Llorens and diplomats from other friendly countries attended the ceremony held at the National Museum’s Ethnography Hall in Kabul. The US ambassador spoke at the event and reaffirmed the US’s continued support for the restoration of the National Museum.

Minister Raheen and Ambassador Llorens also announced the launch of the Capital Campaign to raise funds from Afghan and international sources to build the new National Museum. Currently, the US Embassy in Kabul has committed five million USD while the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture has committed two million USD to this project.

For more details, please see the competition's official website: