Bactrian Hoard moved to Presidential Palace
The Bactrian Hoard, one of the five greatest treasure collections in the world – has gone on display at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Afghan voice agency (AVA)_The Presidential Palace (ARG) said in a statement on Wednesday that the government of Afghanistan is committed to preserving and protecting this #historical_collection.
The Bactrian gold was excavated by #Russian_archaeologist Viktor Sariandi in 1978 in Jowzjan province. Sariandi and his team unearthed over 21,000 pieces of gold from six burial chambers dated back to around the 1st century BC.
The hoard had belonged to the Yuezhi royal dynasty and it lay undisturbed for 2,000 years.
The hoard, which includes necklaces set with semi-precious stones, medallions, belts, and a crown, went missing during the civil war in the early 1990s until it was “rediscovered” in secret vaults under the central bank building in Kabul and brought to public attention again in 2003.
Only five trusted individuals had keys to the vault.
The treasure is now being stored safely in the Presidential Palace after concerns were raised recently about its safety.
Last month, Rahman Rahmani, the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, called for the treasure to be sent out of the country and stored abroad for safekeeping.
Rahmani said the Central Bank, where the gold was housed, was unreliable, and he insisted on transferring the hoard to a more trustworthy country on loan.
In addition to this, some lawyers also called on government to examine the state of the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
The issue was raised after #SIGAR released a report last month stating that vast amounts of money is still being smuggled out of the country, especially out of #Hamid_Karzai International Airport in Kabul – and specifically through the VIP area.
“If money is smuggled, the Bactrian treasure will not be safe, and this treasure is to support Afghanistan’s money and must be transferred to another country because the Central Bank lacks credit, and this is a very serious matter,” Rahmani said.
Another MP, Nilofar Ibrahimi said: “Action must be taken to prevent the transfer of Bakhtar treasures, because the Central Bank’s cameras have been turned off for two months and we are concerned about the distrust of the current government and this treasure is in danger of being smuggled and should be transferred to a trustworthy country.”
The total collection is estimated to be worth around $13 billion. Over the past 13 years, the treasure has been exhibited in foreign countries, earning Afghanistan about 314 million Afghanis.
In reaction to the parliament claims the Presidential Palace (#ARG) called for calm, saying recently that #Bactrian_Hoard “is one of the greatests assets of the Afghan people, which has been preserved in the maze of history in which the country’s assets were looted.”
ARG also stated that government has protected this historical treasure in a responsible manner and has allowed it to be exhibited several times in countries around the world.
The exhibitions have been done in a way for the treasure to represent “the history and identity of Afghanistan, and significant revenues to the state treasury have been obtained through this,” said ARG.