Taliban paint over mural of revered Japanese aid leader in Kabul
TEHRAN — A mural on a wall in Kabul of Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese doctor who engaged in humanitarian aid activities in Afghanistan until being killed by an armed group in 2019, was painted over on Sunday, according to the local art group which produced the mural.
The elimination of the mural was ordered by the Taliban, the Islamic militant group that recently seized power in the country, it was confirmed by Kabul-based ArtLords.
Nakamura was the field representative of the Peshawar-kai, a Japanese nongovernmental organization that engaged in such aid activities as building irrigation facilities in Afghanistan. He was 73 when he was shot to death by armed militants.
After his death, more than 200 volunteers painted the mural of Nakamura on a wall on a street in central Kabul in commemoration of his distinguished service.
According to ArtLords cofounder Omaid Sharifi, the painting of Nakamura’s face and a poem written beside it were covered over with whitewash. Black letters celebrating Afghanistan’s “independence” were written on the space.
Sharifi called the incident regrettable in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, and said the Taliban gave no reason for their action.
It seems that before establishing a government, the Taliban aim to make a show of their victory over the United States to the citizens of Kabul.
It is unclear whether the Taliban were aware it was a mural of Nakamura before painting over it.