Thursday, 6 February 2014

Prague museum to exhibit Buddhist artefacts from Afghanistan

Prague, Feb 4 (CTK) - Czech National Museum head Michal Lukes Tuesday received from President Milos Zeman a memorandum with the Afghan Culture Ministry, under which an exhibition of Buddhist artefacts uncovered by Czech archaeologists in Afghanistan will be staged in Prague, Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK.
Lukes said the exhibition will be a unique presentation of Afghan history in the Czech Republic.
The meeting took place at the presidential seat at Prague Castle.
Lukes thanked Zeman for his help. The memorandum was signed during Zeman's official visit to Afghanistan in January, Ovcacek said.
The exhibition of Buddhist artefacts will be organised in the Naprstek Museum in Prague, which is part of the National Museum, at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, Lukes said.
There will be a number of events accompanying the exhibition, he added.
The exhibition will present Mes Aynak, an archaeological site near Kabul in the Logar province where forts, a citadel, Buddhist monasteries, many statues and ancient workings have been uncovered.
The Czech Republic was among the countries that took part in the excavations in the valley that was probably situated alongside the Silk Road between Asia and the Middle East. The Czechs joined the work in late 2011.
Mes Aynak is considered the second largest copper deposit in the world. A Chinese company is to start mining copper in the area. Archaeologists have to document the historical heritage before mining would destroy them.
Lukes said previously the preparation of the exhibition was difficult due to the ongoing armed conflicts.
The old building of the National Museum has been closed since summer 2011 because of a major reconstruction. It should reopen in 2018 when the museum will celebrate 200 years of its operation.
The new centre-right government of Bohuslav Sobotka considers the museum's rebuilding one of its priorities. Culture Minister Daniel Herman is responsible for the task.
The preparatory stage of the reconstruction was completed last year, costing 548 million crowns. Architects of the new permanent exhibitions would be chosen this year.

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