Canadian Museum of Civilization prepares for Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures
Gatineau, Quebec, October 19, 2009 — The Canadian Museum of Civilization is busy getting ready for the highly anticipated international exhibition AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures. The artifacts have arrived safely and are being prepared for opening day on October 23, when visitors will be able to admire gold from the Bactrian Hoard and other magnificent archeological discoveries.
AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures is on track to open as scheduled,” said Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “The artifacts are here, under care from international and our museum experts. Beautiful installation work is now underway, with texts, illustrations and maps that will guide visitors through an amazing historical story.”
Both the Canadian Museum of Civilization (including the Children’s and the Postal Museums) and the Canadian War Museum are open to visitors. The website, www.historymuseum.ca provides information on opening hours and other visitor facts.
This exhibition has been seen by large crowds in Washington, San Francisco, Houston and New York, as well as in Paris and Amsterdam. The Museum of Civilization is its only venue in Canada, providing an important opportunity to see a spectacular collection of ancient artifacts that illustrate Afghanistan’s role in ancient history and culture.
AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures, to be presented until March 28, 2010 at the Museum of Civilization, will feature 200 pieces of ornate jewelry, gold vessels, fine sculpture, painted glassware and other exquisite objects from the National Museum in Kabul.
These treasures come from four archeological sites: the Bronze Age cache of Tepe Fullol, the Greek colony of Aï Khanum, the trading centre of Begram, and the nomad burial mound at Tillya Tepe. Three of the sites date from about 2,000 years ago, when Afghanistan emerged as a crossroads of civilizations brought together by the Silk Road, the great trade route that once linked empires from China all the way to the Mediterranean.
The ancient artifacts in AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures have great modern significance as well: they are among the thousands of precious objects once feared looted or destroyed during Afghanistan’s occupation by the Soviet Union, the ensuing civil war and Taliban rule. The exhibition recounts the heroic efforts of the Afghans who risked their lives to protect their country’s cultural heritage.
The exhibition will also include a contemporary section highlighting ongoing work to preserve and renew traditional art and craft production in Afghanistan. Elaborately carved woodwork is shown from the workshop of Turquoise Mountain. This organization is devoted to reviving traditional Afghan artistic skills, and promoting trade in locally made crafts. Turquoise Mountain is also involved in preserving and restoring parts of Kabul’s old city, employing local artisans in the project.
AFGHANISTAN: Hidden Treasures is organized by the National Geographic Society and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and t