Remaining Afghan Treasure Admired On World Museum Day


The National Museum of Afghanistan lost 70 percent of its artifacts during the country’s civil wars but fortunately at least 60,000 items were saved.

Marking International Museum Day, TOLOnews visited the museum, which sees up to 300 visitors a day.

According to museum officials, their main aim is to serve the people and despite the high volume of visitors, their monthly turnover seldom exceeds 40,000 Afghanis.

“Some items in the museum belong to the geographic location called Bakhtar, which encompasses north and northeastern parts of Afghanistan and southern parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,” said Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, the museum’s curator.

The museum dates back to 1919 but was moved to its current location in 1932.

Sadly, the civil wars took a heavy toll on the museums treasures but after the Soviet Union’s troops were ousted from Afghanistan, the then government saved what they could, including the priceless Bakhtari treasure, and stored the relics in secure locations.

“We registered and listed very important relics of different eras, by considering the size of the item and the capacity of the [secure] place and then the relics were taken to secure places under tight security measures,” said Omara Khan Massoudi, former head of the museum.

The Bakhtari treasure, along with other items, have meanwhile gone on display over the years in more than 10 countries around the world. The exhibitions have earned Afghanistan 176 million Afghanis since 2007.

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