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December 15, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - ,, No comments

Brent E. Huffman Presenting Special Advance Screening of "Saving Mes Aynak" at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on Dec. 18

Brent Huffman: "Seated Buddha"
The Rubin Museum of Art, in co-presentation with NYU's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, will show the documentary "Saving Mes Aynak" on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18. The director Brent E. Huffman will be at the special advance screening on December 18 and talk afterward about Mes Aynak.
Brent E. Huffman’s documentary follows archaeologists from around the world as they fight to save a 2,600-year-old Buddhist city in Afghanistan from imminent destruction by a Chinese copper mining company. Under threat from the local Taliban as well as pressure from the mining consortium, the archaeologists confront great risk in seeking to document one of the great centers of the Silk Road before it is razed and erased from memory.
Additional screenings of the movie are scheduled for Dec. 20 and Dec. 27 (Huffman will not be in attendance). You may purchased tickets for $15 online.

The ARCAblog asked Professor Huffman for an update on Mes Aynak:
Unfortunately, the situation at Mes Aynak has taken a turn for the worse recently. Afghan archaeologists working at the site need international support more than ever. 
Most of the foreign archaeologists have left due to worsening security. The sites they were working at have been left abandoned and funding has dried up. 
The governor of Logar province (where Mes Aynak is located) was murdered last month - journalists speculate it was due to his support of the Chinese deal. 
Also, Karzai flew to Beijing to let MCC renegotiate the contract removing many of the benefits given tot he Afghan government. No more railway system, no smelter, no infrastructure, no $800 million dollar bonus and reduced royalties. I also fear that there are reduced regulations in this new contract. 
So Mes Aynak and those who are working there to protect the site need our help more than ever.
On the ARCA blog you may read additional posts on Mes Aynak's threatened by copper excavation; dangerous precedent; extension; and Kickstart funds usage.