Lost Treasures of Afghanistan

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History Documentary hosted by Peter Coyote and published by National Geographic in 2009 - English narration

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Lost Treasures of Afghanistan During Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s, the National Museum outside Kabul was literally on the front line, repeatedly attacked by rocket fire and looted by warlords.

Then, during the reign of the fundamentalist Taliban regime, all non-Islamic statues and tombs were ordered destroyed. This led to the loss of two-thirds of the hundred thousand items in the Kabul museum.

The Taliban was forced from Kabul after the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan in late 2001. Before then, the Taliban's culture minister supervised the destruction of many of the remaining exhibits at the museum.

What the Taliban didn't know was that many of the most magnificent objects had already been spirited away. More than 25 years ago museum staff had hidden the treasures as the bombs started to fall. (The Afghanistan government found the hidden treasure boxes in 2003 and made the announcement on August 25, 2003. It quickly asked for international assistance in conducting an inventory of the artifacts. The work was done in April, May, and June of that year. Earlier this year a safecracking at a presidential palace vault in downtown Kabul revealed that the entire trove was intact. Now an inventory project funded by the National Geographic Society has catalogued the more than 22,000 objects. The collection includes exquisite ivory statues and 2,500 years' worth of gold and silver coins.

The discovery is a ray of hope in the quest to restore Afghanistan's cultural heritage, most of which has been destroyed forever by decades of war and looting.

"By the end of the Taliban's reign, most of us thought there was nothing left—just destruction and despair," National Geographic Fellow Fredrik Hiebert said. Hiebert led the inventory project with support from National Geographic and the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities.

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  • Video Codec: XviD
  • Video Bitrate: 1664KB/s
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1:76
  • Video Resolution: 704 x 400
  • Audio Codec: (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio BitRate: 192 KB/s 48000Hz
  • Run-Time: 55mins
  • Framerate: 23FPS
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 746mb/s
  • Ripped by artistharry
  • Subtitles: No
  • Source: DVD

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