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Kabul (BNA) The government of Afghanistan welcomes the repatriation back to the National Museum of hundreds of ancient Afghan artifacts stolen from the museum and other parts of the country during the past two decades, the ministry of foreign said in a statement.
“These ancient artifacts are a precious and valuable part of our cultural and historical heritage,” said foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. “That these artifacts have been recovered and now repatriated to their home back here in Afghanistan is a moment of pride and joy for all Afghans.”
Omara Khan Massoudi, Director of the National Museum, who played a critical role in preserving large numbers of artifacts from the National Museum during the war years in the 1990s.
Said “the return of these invaluable artifacts will further enrich our National Museum,” Masoudi said the National Museum will soon put some of the artifacts on display for public viewing.
We are grateful to all those inside and outside Afghanistan who played a part in identifying, retrieving and repatriating this cultural treasure back to Afghanistan, “said Dr. Rassoul, we‘re especially grateful to the British government and the British Museum for their help in this tremendous task.”
The 843 pieces cover artifacts from the Bronze Age all the way to the Islamic period and include such rare items as al a 1” Century AD elephant ivory, a Buddha stone statue, coins, pots, stamps and a 3000 year old axe.
The British Embassy in Kabul handed over the collection to the Ministry of Information and culture at a ceremony at the National Museum today.
Having been the crossroads of the world’s major civilizations over the millennia- form the Kushan and Bactrian period to Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic eras Afghanistan remains home to one of the richest and most diverse treasures of ancient sites and artifacts, making the country a center or world historical and cultural heritage