Hundreds of looted treasures have been returned to Afghanistan with the help of the British Museum and UK police and border forces on August 5th 2012.
Photo: Rex/British Museum
Many of the 843 artifacts were seized as they were being smuggled into Britain after some 70 per cent of the museum's contents were stolen during Afghanistan's civil war in the early 1990s.
The haul is just a fraction of what has been stolen from Afghanistan's national museum and rich archeological sites in recent decades.
Among others items are a statue of Buddha from the second or third century, Bactrian Bronze Age items, Greco-Bactrian and medieval Islamic coins.
"The pieces, and their enormous range, bear testament to the incredibly rich cultural history of Afghanistan," said Colin Crokin, UK consul general in Afghanistan, at the handover ceremony for the 843 meticulously catalogued items. "In a sense, they are symbols of Afghanistan's struggle for national unity and peace – scattered by the civil war, recovered, and now passed back to their own people for safekeeping."
Some of the artifacts were recovered by British border forces and police, while others were found in private collections and bought back by donors./.