"Glistening Treasures in the Dust - Ancient Artefacts of Afghanistan" exhibition to showcase cultural blend along Silk Road (with photos)

     "Glistening Treasures in the Dust - Ancient Artefacts of Afghanistan", one of the main exhibitions to be presented by the Hong Kong Museum of History this year, will be open to the public from tomorrow (November 6). Featuring 231 items/sets of rare artefacts unearthed in Afghanistan, the exhibition attests to the important role played by ancient Afghanistan, as the cultural intersection of the Silk Road, in promoting the exchange and integration of world civilisations.

     An opening ceremony was held today (November 5). Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, said that Hong Kong warmly welcomed the exhibition and praised the courageous curators of Afghanistan for protecting their national heritage and showing the world the beauty of these invaluable treasures. The launching of the exhibition coincides with the Belt and Road Initiative, which fosters cultural exchanges and will bring more future co-operation between Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

     The exhibition showcases precious relics of the National Museum of Afghanistan on loan to Hong Kong. These rare artefacts, including goldware, glassware, bronze sculptures and ivory carvings, were unearthed from four famous archaeological sites in Afghanistan, namely Tepe Fullol, Aï Khanum, Tillya Tepe (Hill of Gold) and Begram. The exhibition also demonstrates the profound influence of foreign ancient cultures such as Greek, Indian and Roman on Afghanistan and its surrounding regions from the Bronze Age to the first century AD, as well as a cultural diversity embracing the features of different steppe cultures.

     Highlight exhibits include a golden bowl with bearded-bull motif unearthed in Tepe Fullol; the "Decorative disk with Cybele" integrated with multicultural elements; a resplendent golden crown; the "King and Dragons" pendants with styles that were common in the Mesopotamian and Persian Plateau regions; and a painted ivory plaque with a Jataka scene of the Buddha's previous life depicting an episode of the Kundakakucchi Sindhava Jataka (story of the sindhava steed fed with rice bran), a story of the Buddha's previous life.

     Other officiating guests included the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, Professor Mohammad Bawary; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Vincent Liu; the Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, Mr Mohammad Rahimi; the Political Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan in the People's Republic of China, Mr Sayed Husinpur; the Director of Beijing Jianzhong Culture Communication Corporation Limited, Mr Chen Jianzhong; the Chairman of the Museum Advisory Committee, Mr Stanley Wong; and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Belinda Wong.

     The exhibition is co-presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the National Museum of Afghanistan, and it will run until February 10, 2020.

     The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui. For details of the exhibition, please visit hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/exhibition/current.html, or call 2724 9042 for enquiries.

Ends/Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Issued at HKT 20:21