A painting depicting religious Hindu imagery is on display in Afghanistan and at risk of destruction.
A post is circulating on social media which claims that a painting hangs in Panjshir, Afghanistan, which shows Indian imagery. “This painting exists in the Panjsheer [sic] Palace, in the erstwhile Gandhara kingdom of Mahabharata time, the present day Afghanistan,” states the claim. “The name 'Panjsheer' which is an aberration of the original name 'Panch sher' meaning Five Lions, was built in honour of the Five Pandava brothers.” One concerned user added, “Why has UNESCO not declared it a heritage site and ensured that it not be destroyed?”
Misbar’s investigation found this claim to be false. According to The Logical Indian, who interviewed the artist, this painting is not in Afghanistan, but on display at a library in Sweden.
The tone of concern in the posts may be linked to the Taliban’s recent claims of a “complete capture” of Afghanistan’s Panjshir province. This was the last area of Afghanistan that had been preserved by resistance forces. The National Resistance Front denied that the Taliban had captured the region, saying they continue to fight.
The Taliban have been known to destroy historical artifacts, and many are worried that their recent rise to power puts remaining art and artifacts in jeopardy.