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Call for moving Bakhtaria treasure abroad regretful: Zahir

28 Jan 2021 - 18:59
28 Jan 2021 - 18:59

KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Information and Culture Minister Tahir Zahir on Thursday said the Bakhtaria Gold Treasure was kept in a secure place and politicians should not use the historic marvels for their political gains.

A day earlier the Lower House speaker and some members said they considered Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) or central bank as untrustworthy and asked the government to move the treasure to a secure country for its safety.

The Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) earlier this year said the Bakhtaria treasure containing 231 artifacts had returned to the country after 13 years of exhibition in various countries.

According to the National Museum of Afghanistan, the treasure is comprised of 21,618 small and big artifacts and most of them are gold.

TaherZahir told a press conference in Kabul on Thursday said the marvels had been found at Gold and Falol hills in Jawzjan province, Ai Khanum of Takhar, Bagram district of Parwan and Goldsmith hill of Balkh province.

He said the Bakhtaria treasure was found in 1978 and 1979 and was kept in the National Museum of the country.

But due to security concerns, the treasure was moved to the Presidential Palace and the treasury of Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) and was stored there until 2006.

Earlier this solar year, the treasure returned to Kabul from overseas display and is currently kept in a secure place and the National Museum of Afghanistan has the keys of the treasure.

“Naming the Bakhtaria treasure as a bankroll for the country is false. The gold in the treasure is not more than seven kilograms but it has a historical and civil value; the treasure is exhibited for its civil value,” Zahir said.

He said all artifacts in the treasure were registered and there was no possibility of theft.

The acting minister answered a question posed by Pajhwok Afghan News as, “the treasure has come from five regions of Afghanistan and is stored in a secure place; Afghanistan is a large country and the treasure would soon be shown to the nation.”

Regarding the Wolesi Jirga’s concern, he said ideological and political differences should not result in politicizing cultural treasures.

The acting minister urged politicians not to use national treasures as a means for their political interests. He said cultural artifacts belonged to the former and future generations of Afghanistan and politicians should not mix culture with politics.

“It is very regretful to ask other countries for protection of our national treasures,” he added.

Based on the request of the US and Russia, Bakhtaria treasure will once again be moved abroad for exhibition purpose.

According to National Museum of Afghanistan, the treasure contains 21,618 artifacts, and only 213 artifacts have been put for exhibition in 13 countries in the course of 13 years.

Hr/ma

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