Summary: The return of Afghan artefacts from the British Museum to the National Museum of Afghanistan reaffirms our partnership and shared commitment to end trade of looted objects.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan London, in close collaboration with the British Museum, the Metropolitan Police and Her Majesty’s Border Force, received the hand-over of a magnificent bodhisattva torso in grey schist and nine Gandharan sculpture heads. Looted and illegally exported from Afghanistan in 2001, they were intercepted when entering Heathrow Airport from Peshawar, the artefacts were brought to restoration by the British Museum. Dated between the fourth and the sixth centuries AD, they were typical of the Hadda tradition and ancient Buddhist sites located near Jalalabad and Kabul today.
The sculptures will be displayed for a short time at the British Museum before being given to the Embassy. They will then go on display in Kabul.