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Afghan President Dedicates Project To Restore Darul Aman Palace

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani (C) speaks during the inauguration of the renovation of the ruined Darul Aman Palace in Kabul on May 30.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has dedicated a reconstruction project to restore the ruins of the historic Darul Aman palace.

Much of Kabul has been repaired since devastating civil wars, but the palace has been ignored atop a hill on the outskirts of the capital.

"Today, we witness returning to the past while building a foundation for the future," Ghani said on May 30, standing inside the bombed-out shell of the structure.

Once complete, the building will be used as a museum and a venue for national ceremonies, Ghani said.

The project is expected to cost $16.5 million to $20 million and take three to five years.

Built in the early 1920s, the Aman palace has been a symbol of failed attempts to bring peace to Afghanistan.

It was repeatedly burned, including during the Soviet occupation in 1979, before being heavily damaged by fighting and abandoned during the civil war in the 1990s.

Based on reporting by Reuters