France gets first look at Afghani treasures

16th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

KABUL, Oct 14, 2006 (AFP) - Paris's Guimet Museum of Asian art will in December become the first international museum to exhibit ancient Afghan treasures that resurfaced three years ago, after fears they had been lost to the world.

KABUL, Oct 14, 2006 (AFP) -  Paris's Guimet Museum of Asian art will in December become the first international museum to exhibit ancient Afghan treasures that resurfaced three years ago, after fears they had been lost to the world.

*sidebar1*Most had already left and been unpacked with the remainder due to fly out Sunday, he said.

The Afghan parliament in May voted against an international tour of the pieces saying they feared the treasure would be stolen, lost, damaged or copied. The parliament gave the green light in a new vote months later.

"Eventually, the Afghan government, the minister of culture and ourselves insisted on the importance of this exhibition at this time," Jarrige said, insisting the display would show a "positive aspect" of Afghanistan.

The Afghan government has received requests to show the relics from museums in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, South Korea and the United States.

President Hamid Karzai had wanted France to be the first country to show the items because of the strong archeological relationship between the nations that started with the arrival of the first French archeological team here in 1922, the director said.

The Bactrian Treasure, stored in the central bank vaults in the presidential palace, comprises around 21,600 pieces — more than 20,000 of them in gold, including figurines of beasts, jewellery and gem-encrusted scabbards.

It resurfaced in 2003 after fears that it had been lost during Afghanistan's nearly three decades of war, which included a 1979 Soviet invasion, the 1992-1996 civil conflict and the six-year reign of the Taliban which was ended in 2001.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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