Afghanistan's antiques plundering underway

In the city of Peshawar (the administrative center of the Pashtoon-populated North-West Frontier province) customs officers have seized a large batch of antiques. Smugglers were attempting to take them out to Switzerland as old furniture, the Dawn newspaper in English writes.

A 6.5-ton statue of Buddha, two Buddha heads, three small-sized sculptures and other items were stolen in neighboring Afghanistan, namely the Buddhas Valley in the central province Bamian. There, in 2001 the Taliban destroyed two largest-ever Buddha statues carved in solid rock. They dated back to the period of the Kushan kingdom (1st-5th centuries A.D.).

Experts have confirmed the genuine character of the seized sculptures. They date back the Buddha images to Handhar /6th century B.C.-3rd century A.D./ artifacts, distinguished by a merger of Buddhist and Hellenic elements.

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