Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, December 21, 2007

Afghan artifacts to be featured in U.S. exhibition next year

After surviving historic journeys on camelbacks and the collapse of civilizations, Afghanistan’s ancient artistic treasures will be featured in a 17-month tour of the United States that begins next May, The Washington Post reported today.

According to the article, some of the treasures “lay buried for centuries in an Afghan nomad’s sepulcher. Others were spirited out of a museum in modern-day Kabul under siege from looters and religious fanatics, then hidden in secret vaults under the presidential palace.”

The article adds: “The exhibit, which will be on display here [Washington, D.C] for nearly four months before traveling to museums in New York, San Francisco and Houston, aims to provide a rare glimpse of the long-lost, creative melting pot that Afghanistan once represented – centuries before it became known to most Westerners as a grim Cold War battlefield and a victim of horrific Islamic repression under the Taliban.”

“As a trove of history, the artifacts are as edifying as they are beautiful. Selected from four separate sites, they span 3,000 years, beginning circa 2500 B.C. (during the Bronze Age), and include designs, scripts and images from a dozen cultures as far-flung as India, China and Rome,” The Post says, later adding: “One of the exhibit’s four original sources was an abandoned and half-buried city in northern Afghanistan known as Woman of the Moon, built by Greco-Bactrian nobles who passed through Afghanistan more than 2,000 years ago. It was lost to history until the 1960s, when a French archaeologist began a painstaking, 15-year excavation. Hiebert [a National Geographic fellow who is curating the exhibition] said the exhibit will re-create parts of the city, including the treasury, theater and gymnasium.”

For the full article, click here.


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