More than 800 looted Afghan treasures are back in Kabul’s national museum after being rescued from smugglers by British police.
Because of London’s international air links many artefacts pass through the UK. The police netted the antiquities in three seperate seizures. Several were also bought by an anonymous dealer on behalf of the museum.
“They remind us that the troubles of the Taliban age, and the subsequent battle against the insurgency and for a peaceful Afghanistan, are relatively small events in a bigger picture. They bring a sense of perspective that culture only can bring,” said the British Consul-General Colin Crorkin.
Many of the pieces were stolen during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s, and ended up on the black market. The Kabul museum, which once had one of the greatest collections in Central Asia, lost two-thirds of its exhibits during this period, which also saw the Taliban destroy many Buddhist artefacts which they deemed un-Islamic.