Did Banksy Hit The Darul Aman Palace In Afghanistan?

The Puppy looks awfully Banksy, no?

The Puppy looks awfully Banksy, no?

On the edge of Kabul, Afghanistan, framed by the snowy peaks of the Hindu Kush, lies the Darul Aman Palace, the former home of Afghan King Amanullah Khan. Built in the 1920s as part of a modernization campaign by the King, it now sits ravaged by thirty years of war. But it never had a peaceful history. According to Wikipedia:

Darul Aman Palace was gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the Soviet invasion left the building a gutted ruin.

Over the years, the Russians, the mujahideen, the Taliban, local artists and the Americans have all left their mark – and it’s known amongst select few as a sort of gallery of war art. I was recently allowed inside as one of the guys I was with knew the guards (always helpful to have friends in high and low places!) and as I was wandering around, saw the most amazing graffiti art… which looked like something out of the Banksy playbook. I was assured it was just an homage – but… you never know.

After the jump, more amazing graffiti and pictures of the actual palace:

The King's Palace in Kabul - framed by the Hindu Kush

The King’s Palace in Kabul – framed by the Hindu Kush

The palace has been destroyed after 30 years of war - used by the Russians, the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, the Americans - and everyone else as basecamp.

The palace has been destroyed after 30 years of war – used by the Russians, the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, the Americans – and everyone else as basecamp.

The monkey

The monkey

more seriously cool graffiti inside the palace

more seriously cool graffiti inside the palace

Hi-5 Tank.. and me. high fiving.

Hi-5 Tank.. and me. high fiving.

The Mullah

The Mullah

Fun in a ruined palace...

Fun in a ruined palace…

Graffiti from the Russian Era

Graffiti from the Russian Era

Some sentiments from the mujahideen...

Some sentiments from the mujahideen…

"Do Your Best" (famous last words...)

“Do Your Best” (famous last words…)

The Americans add their thoughts....

The Americans add their thoughts….

More fun American statements...

More fun American statements…

UPDATE: Turns out the Banksy-esque graffiti is most likely the work of Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female street artist – WHO ROCKS.

Check out some more of her work here:

from the kabulartproject.com

 

 

 

One thought on “Did Banksy Hit The Darul Aman Palace In Afghanistan?

  1. Pingback: The Amazing Graffiti Art in the Ruins of the Darul Aman Palace - Buzzweep

Jack Handey me with your deep thoughts here - we can philosophize together