An exhibition of art from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region of Gandhara has opened in Berlin and will run until August 10th.
The area hit the headlines in March 2001 when the Taliban demolished the Bamiyan Buddhas, the world’s largest rock/carved Buddha statues. The art of this region reflects the melting pot nature of this area. It is a cultural crossroads, where trade routes cross and East meets West. Alexander the Great introduced Greek art, and this influence is still visible as is the influence of classical Roman art. The exhibition concentrates however on the development of Buddhism in the region. Around 300 objects are on display, including stone sculptures, filigree reliefs, precious coins and gold jewellery from the 1st to the 5th century AD. Most of these items are on loan from museums in Pakistan, whose generous support made the exhibition possible.