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Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World.

March 5, 2011

At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan linked the great trading routes of ancient Iran, Central Asia, India and China, and the more distant cultures of Greece and Rome. The country’s unique location resulted in a legacy of extraordinarily rare objects, which reveal its rich and diverse past.

Nearly lost during the years of civil war and later Taliban rule, these precious objects were bravely hidden in 1989 by officials from the National Museum of Afghanistan to save them from destruction.

When you say Afghanistan these days – it immediately conjures up images of war and social repression. But an exhibition of these precious items in London shows off a culture rich in artistic treasures dating back some four thousand years. It details a story which exhibition organisers say is the triumph of culture and beauty over vandalism and bigotry.  This exhibition, at the British Museum in London, was opened recently by the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

Hamid Karzai opens Afghanistan display at The British Museum London. Photo by Cpl Ross Fernie RLC. Crown Copyright 2011.

Click on the image above and it will take you to the British Museum Exhibition website, where you can view videos of this important exhibition and learn how the treasures were discovered and then hidden during the years of Taliban reign.

Inlaid Gold Pendant from Tillya Tepe, 1st Century AD. National Museum of Afghanistan. Copyright Thierry Ollivier-Musee Guimet.

Taher Qadiry from BBC Persian Television, who was brought up in Afghanistan, gives his personal view of his country’s treasures and you can watch the BBC video, “Treasures from the Ravages of War” by clicking on the picture above.

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