Germany returns two millennia old Afghan sculpture

31 Jan 2012 1:20 PM | Anonymous

Germany returns two millennia old Afghan sculpture
 

An Afghan specialist looks at an ancient pre-Islamic sculpture that was returned to Afghanistan at the Afghan National Museum in Kabul January 30, 2012.

By Amie Ferris-Rotman

KABUL | Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:28am EST

KABUL (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.

Faces turned to their left, they are believed to be audience members watching Buddha on his throne in the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, which stretched across part of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Foreign Ministry said.

"This is a masterpiece ... I am optimistic that in the future we will get the other artefacts back," said Omara Khan Massoudi, the director of Afghanistan's National Museum, which housed the sculpture before it was stolen.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/uk-afghanistan-antiquity-idUSLNE80U00S20120131

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