Arcane Fire

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The Heathrow Collection? Returned Artifacts Displayed in Kabul

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I am struggling to see the bright side here.  During the 8 years of war in Afghanistan, many of the country’s antiques and treasures, illuminating its rich history and cultural heritage, disappeared.  The National Museum lost 70,000 artifacts alone. Stolen by thieves from excavation sites left unattended or destroyed during fighting, most of these artifacts will probably never be recovered.  But some 2,000 have been recovered and returned to Afghanistan thanks to London’s Heathrow Airport customs staff!  And this is a cause for celebration….I think. 

Also see here for a more detailed account of the treasures returned:

The Heathrow collection includes more than 1,500 objects spanning thousands of years of Afghan culture: a 3,000-year-old carved stone head from the Iron Age and hand-cast axe heads, cut rock crystal goblets, and delicate animal carvings from the Bactrian era, another thousand years earlier. The oldest artifacts in the collection include a marble figure of an animal showing similarities to artifacts dating to the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, dating as far back as 8,000 years. The collection also contains gilded bronze pieces, coins, and ornately inscribed slabs dating from Afghanistan’’s early Islamic period (8th-9th centuries A.D.) and treasures from the Medieval Islamic period (10th-14th centuries A.D.) that serve to replace the decimated collection at the National Museum, which was hit by a rocket in 1993 during the civil war, then repeatedly looted.


Written by doorr

October 7, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Art

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