Kabul Museum in Kabul
For 2,000, Afghanistan was a crossroad for trade from India, Iran, and Central Asia. As a result, many treasures and artifacts have been discovered and collected. The Kabul Museum, housed the most comprehensive record of Central Asian history. Many of its pieces have been dated as far back as pre-historic times. One of the museum's largest displays, was the magnificient Bagram Collection. Discovered in 1939, by archaeologists excavating a Kushan fort. It contained an amazing 1,800 pieces from India, Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Central Asia. The Kabul Museum also had one of the largest displays of Greek and Roman coins found near Kabul. This collection was a historical treasure, as it contained coins from numerous civilizations dating from the 8th century B.C. to the late 19th century.
These treasures and many other were tragically lost when the Kabul Museum was bombed in 1993. At first, only the upper galleries suffered losses and looting. The remaining artifacts, were transfered to lower leveled, steel doored vaults. In 1994, the United Nations attempted to stop the looting by repairing the doors, and bricking up the windows. Dissapointingly, these attempts failed, and looters continued to plunder 90% of the museum's collections.
Both private collectors and antique dealers from as far away as Tokyo, have purchased stolen museum pieces. Looted artifacts have shown up all over the world, and they bring in large sums of money to the criminals. Only 52 pieces have been recovered.
April 08, 2006