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Afghanistan's ancient gold is safe, says Foreign Minister

Afghanistan's ancient gold is safe, says Foreign Minister
keywords: gold - Afghanistan
The so-called Bactrian Gold, Afghanistan's hoard of 2,000-year-old gold nuggets, silver ornaments, manuscripts and other ancient treasures, has survived intact after years of civil war and unrest, a senior minister said this week.
Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the Foreign Minister, told a meeting of Unesco's general conference in Paris that Afghans were happy to learn the "good news" that the collection - long rumoured to have been stolen - was in the vaults beneath the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul.

Only a few days ago, an official from Unesco, the UN's cultural organisation, told The Independent that there was still no final proof that the treasures were in Kabul. The minister's pronouncement was the latest instalment in an intriguing drama in which the centrepiece is a collection of treasures discovered in 1978.

They were unearthed in the north of the country during excavations of ancient burial mounds by the Greek-Russian archaeologist Victor Sariyannidis in 1978. ...

Read more at the Independent (october 4, 2003)