Ancient Afghan treasures on exhibit in Amsterdam

22nd February 2008, Comments 0 comments

An exhibition in the Netherlands showcasing the rich history of ancient Afghanistan gives visitors a picture of a country that is both entirely different yet also strikingly similar to the conflict-ridden country it is today.

22 February 2008

AMSTERDAM - An exhibition in the Netherlands showcasing the rich history of ancient Afghanistan gives visitors a picture of a country that is both entirely different yet also strikingly similar to the conflict-ridden country it is today.

Hidden Afghanistan, which is on at the Nieuwe Kerk in central Amsterdam's Dam Square, contains a collection of some 250 magnificent archaeological artefacts.

During the war, the treasures were hidden in a safe in Afghanistan's central bank in Kabul, where they were "rediscovered" in 2004 and transported to Europe for restoration in 2006.

The exhibition, which follows negotiations with the Afghan government and runs to 20 April, includes a tour and workshop on the making of Afghan jewellery for children.

Due to its strategic location on the former trade routes between East and West, Afghanistan has always been the crossroads of civilisations in Central Asia.

For the West, it is the region where the eastward-bound expeditions of Alexander the Great were halted.

The Oxus river, today known as Amu Darya, became the border between the West and the "barbarian." The river is also the eastern border of the legendary ancient empire of Bactria.

For the Chinese, by contrast, Afghanistan was the most western region they entered en route to India.

Most of the artefacts on display in the Nieuwe Kerk originate from four archaeological sites, he oldest of which, Tepe Fullol, dates from the Bactrian Bronze Age - around 2000 BC.

The bigger collection of artefacts that originate from Ai Khanum, a city founded by the ancient Greeks as part of one of Alexander the Great's expeditions, provides evidence of the Hellenistic influence in Afghanistan.

Website: www.nieuwekerk.nl

Go to our listing of Art Exhibitions.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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