Looted treasures return to Afghanistan
In a small room inside Kabul museum, staff are slowly unwrapping hundreds of stolen pieces of Afghanistan's past.
Worth a fortune on the black market, the smugglers' hoard was spotted and seized by customs officers at Heathrow airport in London.
More than 1,500 artefacts were recovered in an 11-day operation. Many are priceless objects of Islamic art looted in illegal excavations.
There are prehistoric tools - up to 6,000 years old - and ancient coins, as well as more recent Islamic tiles, inscribed basins and bronze candlesticks.
During Afghanistan's civil war, Kabul museum was on the front line. Used as a base by the Mujahedin, the building was badly damaged. But most devastating of all - 70% of its rich collection was systematically looted and smuggled abroad.
Much of what survived was then smashed to bits by the Taliban.
comments powered by Disqus
- Five Things You Need to Know to be a Better Digital Preservationist
- Book on Losing British Generals Wins American History Prize
- Stanford scholar explores civil rights revolution's positive impact on the South's economy
- Harvard Historian Nancy Koehn on Amazon's Tentacular Reach
- Q&A with historian and author Nick Turse