Bactrian Gold Exhibit from Afghanistan at the British Museum in Spring 2011. It seems after the exhibition closed on July 3rd, 2011 it has not moved to another location to be exhibited, nor has it been returned to Afghanistan. In fact the Kabul museum has been struggling as reported in Huffington Post (Sept 5, 2012) and in the Guardian (UK, August 5, 2012). Although some artefacts that were looted have been returned the Bactrian Gold is still safely stored outside Afghanistan
View our online exhibition in collaboration with Prince Claus Foundation, National Geographic, Kabul Museum etc. which includes photo material, video interview with Dr. Massoudi, the director of the museum in Kabul who protected the Bactrian treasure from the Taliban and other background stories.
Bactrian (Afghan) Gold Treasure exhibition started its tour early 2008 in France and the Nieuwe Kerk the Netherlands after the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul received funds to restore its treasure from the Guimet Museum in Paris and the Dutch Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam.
For its USA leg of the tour, the National Geographic Society took part of the sponsoring and co-hosts exhibits with 4 museums in the USA of which the final one is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Starting October 20 2009, the Afghan gold exhibition can be viewed in the Canadian Museum of Civilization after ending the US leg of its world tour.
Afghanistan Gems and Treasures: Visit our Rare Book Library:
There is a wealth of information about Afghanistan in our gemstone library. Herodotus wrote about the occurrence of gold near the Bactria and how it was mined by ants. Was this the way the Bactrian Empire obtained its gold which we can now admire in this exhibit ? Afghanistan was (and is) the premier resource of Lapis Lazuli . Read what role Afghanistan played in the history of the Koh-i-Noor. Spinels (previously called Balas Ruby) were found in Badakshan, Afghanistan. Also find more information on Bactrian Emeralds.
Some amazing Afghanistan travel logues:
For more recent stories on Afghan gemstones in combination with amazing photography of the gems, the land and its people you will find extensive reports after the jumps: Gary Bowersox (who runs his own mining company in gems) and Vincent Pardieu (gemologist at the established Gubelin laboratory and travelling gemologist) and who paid a visit to the Spinel mines of Afghanistan in 2006.
What can you expect in our online Afghanistan Gold exhibit ?
Read in our Online Afghanistan Gold Exhibit how the director of the "National Museum in Kabul" and his colleagues kept the whereabouts of the "Bactrian Gold Treasure" hidden in a safe place for 15 years. You can listen and view him tell this story in his own words, how they risked their lives in doing so.
Go step by step through the different rooms of the "Afghani Gold Exhibit" and learn about the Bactrian and other cultures, or which gemstones were used, or learn to understand their art. Our exhibit will be a work in progress, and we will add more and more information, images, audio and video over time, when it's relevant, and when more knowledge becomes available.
A great online exhibit of Afghanistan can be found on the National Geographic site here: