An exhibition of Afghan treasures and relics was held in Beijing on May 17 as part of efforts to expand cultural engagement between China and Asia Pacific.
“A nation stays alive when its culture stays alive” was the words shown at the entrance of the exhibition at Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing.
China is one of the many stops on the nomadic journey of these Afghan treasures, which narrowly survived years of conflicts and destruction in the war-torn country, according to China’s state news agency, Xinhua.
The exhibition has toured France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, Australia, Japan and South Korea since 2006.
In 2017, China joined the global relay to protect and display these treasures in efforts to keep the crucial part of an ancient civilization alive.
In 2018, a 150-piece aboriginal art exhibition titled “Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists” was held in China, and a Chinese calligraphy and painting exhibition opened at the National Museum of Australia last month.
In March 2017, Director of Afghan National Museum Mohammad Fahim Rahimi traveled to China together with 231 pieces of his country's national treasures and relics, which were later displayed in the Palace Museum in Beijing.
The three-month exhibition drew more than 8,000 visitors per day, who were amazed at the rich history and culture of Afghanistan and the concerted global efforts to keep the treasures in safe hands.
In 2001, the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan dynamited and destroyed two enormous 6th century giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, besides wreaking havoc on other precious cultural relics. The 231 precious items on display overseas were among a number of rare collections secretly saved by Afghan museum staff from the flames of war.
They represent the cultural heritage from the Bronze Age, the Hellenistic period and the Kushan dynasty, as well as the period between the invasion of the Yuezhi people and the establishment of the Kushan dynasty, showcasing the integration and mingling of ancient civilizations.
“Afghanistan has served as the crossroad of civilizations in the course of history that connects South Asia to Central Asia and as well as the East to the West,” said Rahimi as quoted by China’s state news agency.
Displaying Afghanistan's cultural treasures in China, a peaceful and populous country, is vital for the introduction of Afghanistan's civilization to the Chinese audience, he said.