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The National Museum of Afghanistan was looted and plundered through years of civil war. But now it’s on its way back to its former glory after international donors returned stolen treasures. What’s more, the museum is now looking forward to a brighter future. Let’s take a look.
This Buddha from the 4th-5th century graces the hallway of the newly restored National Museum of Afghanistan. The freshly-painted walls, and glass cabinets are far removed from the museum’s more violent past. The building was shelled, looted and caught fire during the 90s civil war. Many centuries-old statues were destroyed.
Afghan National Museum director, Omara Khan Massoudi, says the staff hard worked to restore the artifacts.
Omara Khan Massoudi, director of Afghan National Museum, said,"After the collapse of the Taliban, together with the ministry of Information and Culture, we all tried our best to rebuild all our departments up from nothing. Now all our department is very active, I am very happy we were able to restore and also clean, treat the artifacts which needed urgent treatment."
Now, the museum is slowly being restored thanks to international efforts to return thousands of looted treasures - and to heroic Afghan staff members who hid its most priceless works during the war years and kept the secret for more than a decade.
Recently, the museum welcomed home nearly 850 Afghan artifacts - including a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age axe, a first century ivory elephant carving and a life-sized Buddha statue.
The British Museum catalogued and helped return the pieces. This was the second huge handover of Afghan historical pieces by the British Museum. In 2009, around 1,500 historical pieces were returned.
The aim is to restore the facility to its pre-war reputation as one of the finest in the region - with displays ranging from the Bronze Age to more contemporary Islamic art.
Ghulam Nabi, visitor, said,"In other countries there are very nice museums, I want change for the better here as well. Though it is good now, there are still some shortages here in Afghanistan and these shortages have to be met, so that it can be a better place to visit - and a good source of education for the people."
The museum building still lacks such modern museum basics as humidity control, high-tech security, and a reliable supply of electricity. It is seeking funds to build a new, modern home near the current building. Many hope this will help usher in new era for Afghan history.
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Editor:Qin Xue |Source: CCTV.com