Warning: Use of undefined constant add_shortcode - assumed 'add_shortcode' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/mat8iou/public_html/elginism/wp-content/plugins/stray-quotes/stray_quotes.php on line 615
Afghanistan Archives • Elginism

Showing results 1 - 12 of 19 for the tag: Afghanistan.

October 27, 2014

Expropriation of artefacts as a demonstration of power

Posted at 9:55 pm in Similar cases

This article is prompted by the current state of affairs in Iraq & Syria, where ISIS fighters are systematically destroying heritage from cultures that do not fit entirely into their worldview. This is not a new approach however & has been going on for as long as people can remember. The means & the stated aims might vary, but the end result – denigration of the culture of the local population – is invariably the outcome.

The empty seat once occupied by the Bamiyan Buddhas before they were systematically destroyed by the Taliban

The empty seat once occupied by the Bamiyan Buddhas before they were systematically destroyed by the Taliban

From:
Guardian

If great architecture belongs to humanity, do we have a responsibility to save it in wartimes?
Jeff Sparrow
Tuesday 7 October 2014 03.25 BST

The lands of Syria and Iraq gave rise to some the oldest societies we know: the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Parthians, the Romans and many others. Traces of all of these peoples remain in archeological sites of the utmost significance.

And now they’re being destroyed.

A fortnight ago, satellite imagery revealed the cultural effects of Syria’s civil war. “The buildings of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, has suffered extensive damage,” explained Archaeology magazine. “The ancient city of Bosra, the ancient site of Palmyra, the ancient villages of Northern Syria, and the castles Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din have all been damaged by mortar impacts and military activity.”
Read the rest of this entry »

October 10, 2012

Afghan artefacts returned by UK were saved by a London philanthopist

Posted at 1:05 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the looted Afghan artefacts, which were returned by the UK earlier this year.

From:
Museums Association Journal

Hundreds of stolen items returned to Kabul | Museums Association
Patrick Steele
01 September 2012

Some of the 825 stolen objects returned to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul in July, with the assistance of the British Museum and Ministry of Defence, were saved by a London-based philanthropist.

The British Museum’s Middle East curator, John Simpson, said the philanthropist offered to acquire the objects for the Afghan museum if the British Museum could “advise on legality and process” and act as an intermediary.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 14, 2012

Should the Bamiyan Buddhas be rebuilt?

Posted at 12:49 pm in Similar cases

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 led to international outcry. Looking back at it today though, their are different points of view over what should happen to the site now. As with sites such as the Acropolis, there are those who want to restore it to how it was originally, whereas others think that it should be stabilised in its current state, rather than attempting any sort of rebuilding. As with the Acropolis, this is the sort of issue, which has no clear right or wrong answers.

From:
BBC World Service

13 August 2012 Last updated at 00:44
Bamiyan Buddhas: Should they be rebuilt?
By Stephanie Hegarty

The destruction of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 led to global condemnation of the Taliban regime. But the decision by Unesco not to rebuild them has not put an end to the debate about their future.

When the Taliban were at the height of their power in Afghanistan, leader Mullah Omar waged a war against idolatry.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 8, 2012

Over 9,000 looted artefacts returned to Afghanistan since 2001

Posted at 1:03 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The recent return of artefacts to Afghanistan that were recovered within the UK highlights the fact that over 9,000 looted items have been returned to the country in the last ten years. These returned items have been carefully packaged & put in storage until a new museum is built that can properly display them in a secure environment – a fact that makes nonsense of the issue raised in the past (before the opening of the New Acropolis Museum) that the Parthenon Marbles could not be returned because Greece had nowhere to put them.

From:
Guardian

Treasures returned to Afghan museum
Around 9,000 stolen artefacts returned since 2001, says minister Sayed Masaddeq Khalili

Hundreds of looted treasures have been returned to Afghanistan with the help of the British Museum and UK police and border forces.

The haul is just a fraction of what has been stolen from Afghanistan’s national museum and rich archeological sites in recent decades. Once a wealthy part of the ancient silk road, it was criss-crossed for centuries by traders and conquering armies who left buried traces of their presence.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 25, 2012

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by the UK

Posted at 1:14 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the artefacts returned to Afghanistan, after being seized in the UK.

From:
The Hindu

U.K. returns artefacts to Afghanistan
LONDON, July 20, 2012
Hasan Suroor

More than 800 historic artefacts — stolen from museums in Afghanistan some 20 years ago and smuggled abroad — have been returned to Kabul with help from the British Museum.

They include: a rare sculpture of Buddha, pieces of the Begram Ivories dating back to the 1st century B.C., Bronze Age carvings and medieval Islamic coins.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 23, 2012

850 looted treasures repatriated to Afghanistan from UK

Posted at 9:11 am in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the ongoing attempts by the UK to return various Afghan artefacts, that have been seized by UK border officials. I’m unclear why the number of artefacts has altered significantly since the previous article I posted about it a few days ago.

From:
Independent

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by British Museum
Dalya Alberge
Thursday 19 July 2012

The British Museum, aided by British police and the UK Border Force, has helped return to Afghanistan hundreds of looted antiquities seized from smugglers, The Independent can reveal.

David Cameron will announce in Afghanistan today that 850 treasures have been repatriated, having been passed to the British Museum for safeguarding following their confiscation in Britain over the last two years.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 13, 2012

UK to return 600 stolen artefacts to Kabul

Posted at 1:09 pm in Similar cases

More than 70% of the National Museum of Afghanistan’s collection was taken by looters during the civil war in the country during the 1990s, but less than 1% of the looted items have been recovered so far. The return of the 600 items recovered by UK customs will go some way to helping them rebuild their collection however.

One has to consider though – that many of the artefacts that sit in our national museums were acquired as the results of similar situations in the past – yet no effort is being made to return them & little consideration is even being given to clearly indicating their provenance to museum visitors.

From:
Museums Association Journal

Stolen artefacts return to Afghanistan
Simon Stephens
06.07.12

About 600 artefacts stolen from Afghanistan that have been seized in Britain are to be returned to Kabul next week.

The transfer has been overseen by the British Museum, London, which has cared for the objects after UK customs officials and police confiscated them.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 11, 2012

Afghanistan’s gradual fight to recover their cultural heritage

Posted at 1:06 pm in Similar cases

Cultural property, often forma an important part of a country’s cultural identity. In some cases, although it might refer to a physical item, it does not necessarily become directly visible to people in either its original location or its new location – as in this case of the body of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili which is going to be re-interred in Afghanistan.

From:
Oman Tribune

Afghanistan fights to reclaim cultural heroes, restore heritage

KABUL Interred a quarter century ago in Pakistan, the remains of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili now lie in a forlorn corner of Kabul University, brought here to be reburied so that no one else can lay claim to the revered poet-philosopher.

He has no epitaph; only a few wilted bouquets lie at the grave of Afghanistan’s most prominent 20th century poet. Three policemen guard the site.
Read the rest of this entry »

April 12, 2012

Germany returns looted sculpture to Afghanistan

Posted at 1:00 pm in Similar cases

Germany has returned a looted statue to Afghanistan, after suspicions were raised about the provenance of the piece when it appeared in Munich last year.

From:
Reuters

Germany returns two millennia old Afghan sculpture
By Amie Ferris-Rotman
KABUL | Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:59am GMT

(Reuters) – Germany this week returned an ancient pre-Islamic sculpture looted during Afghanistan’s civil war, giving hope to Kabul’s cultural mavens that the rest of its stolen treasures will also make their way home.

Eight figures, one missing a torso and others without noses, make up the 30-cm high (12 inches) limestone antiquity from the second century AD, a reminder of Afghanistan’s rich classical past as a confluence of cultures on the crossroads of Asia.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 25, 2012

Efforts by British collector to rescue Afghan artefact

Posted at 2:02 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

An anonymous art dealer, is trying to purchase an artefact, believed to have been looted from Afghanistan, with the sole aim of returning it. Interestingly, the British Museum is getting involved – clearly repatriation is much more important for recently taken artefacts than it is for older ones (that are already in their collection).

From:
Guardian

Prized Afghan antiquity is rescued by British art dealer
Gandharan Buddha will be on show at the British Museum until mid-July
Dalya Alberge
Sunday 29 May 2011 00.04 BST

An anonymous art dealer passionate about Afghan heritage has teamed up with the British Museum in an effort to buy and repatriate a spectacular antiquity believed to have been looted from the Afghan national museum in Kabul during the 1990s.

The British dealer, who said he had a “very strong emotional attachment” to Afghanistan, resolved to buy the 2nd-century Gandharan Buddha after he recognised it in a photograph sent by a colleague in Japan. The sculpture, which had disappeared in the bloody civil war, had been bought by a Japanese collector.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 15, 2011

Looted Afghan treasures reunited at the British Museum

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the exhibition of recovered Afghan Artefacts at the British Museum. Neil MacGregor talks about reunifying these pieces & the story that they tell – but seems far less concerned about the welfare of many other artefacts already in his collection.

From:
Time

Lost and Found: Afghan Treasures Reunite at the British Museum
By William Lee Adams / London Sunday, Mar. 27, 2011

In the minds of many outside the country, Afghanistan occupies a space somewhere between war and chaos. But millennia before the Soviet invasion kicked off 30 years of conflict and upheaval, and well before the Taliban began to brutalize its own people, Afghanistan flourished as a hub along the Silk Road. From as early as the first century B.C., the region was known as a meeting place for artisans and traders, not warlords and insurgents.

That’s the implicit message of the British Museum’s latest blockbuster exhibition, Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World. Running until July 3, it brings together 230 objects that have survived bombings and lootings and deliberate destruction by the Taliban. “I hope this exhibition will introduce our ancient civilization to the British people, who usually hear stories of killing in Afghanistan,” says Omara Khan Masoodi, the director of Kabul’s National Museum, which has loaned all of the artifacts on display while it is being rebuilt following years of war. “Afghani people aren’t just fighting with each other. They love their culture, their art, and know the value of these things.” (See pictures of Afghan art.)
Read the rest of this entry »

November 7, 2011

Exhibiting a narative “of creation, of exchange, destruction and recovery”

Posted at 1:52 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

British Museum director Neil MacGregor talks in Grand terms about an exhibition of rescued artefacts from Afghanistan, describing their existence as part of the overall story. Why is it then, that so little is made of the stories behind the acquisition of so many artefacts in the museum’s collection, focussing instead only on how the objects were created in the first place.

From:
Edmonton Sun

Karzai opens London show of rescued Afghan treasures
By Stefano Ambrogi, Reuters
Last Updated: March 6, 2011 10:00pm

Even in the chaos and violence of war there is hope. That is the message running through a new British Museum exhibition of Afghanistan’s ancient treasures thought lost, destroyed, or looted over the past 30 years.

The collection of 200 priceless artefacts spanning 4,000 years of history, from enameled Roman glass goblets, stunning solid gold headdresses and polished stone tableware from Egypt, were saved by a handful of Afghan officials who risked their lives hiding them.
Read the rest of this entry »