by Abdul Haleem, Jawed Omid
KABUL, May 18 (Xinhua) -- "Luckily more than half a million people visited Afghan artifacts in the exhibition held in Chengdu city of China over the past three months, it is huge number," Director of Afghan National Museum Mohammad Fahim Rahimi told Xinhua with happy tone on the eve of the International Museum Day.
Expressing satisfaction over the outcome of his country's cultural exhibition held in China, head of Afghan National Museum pointed out that since 2006, Afghan cultural treasures have also been exhibited in several other countries including Canada, the United States, Japan, South Korea and several European countries.
Last year, the Afghan artifacts had been displayed for a few months in Palace Museum in Beijing and thousands of people including Chinese and foreigners visited the artifacts, which proved significant for the introduction of Afghan civilizations.
"Afghanistan has served as the cross road of civilizations in the course of history that connects South Asia to Central Asia and as well as the East to the West," said the official, adding that displaying Afghan cultural treasures in China, a peaceful and most populous country, is vital for the introduction of Afghanistan's civilizations.
In Kabul, usually around 300 people visit the national museum every day, said the Afghan national museum chief. However, he noted that "unfortunately the number of foreign visitors are few and of course the reason is security concerns."
Expressing satisfaction over holding exhibitions in Beijing and Chengdu, the head of Afghan National Museum was hopeful that the Afghan artifacts would be exhibited in other Chinese cities, too.
Thanking China for providing opportunities to the Afghan National Museum to put on display Afghan cultural treasures, Rahimi maintained that holding exhibitions in China on the one hand had introduced Afghan civilizations and on the other hand, it has earned fund to support and develop museums inside the country.
"We are satisfied with the outcome of holding exhibitions in China, we have achieved our goal," said the Afghan museum chief with joy.
Afghan National Museum had been badly damaged during 1990s and 2001 wars and conflicts.
Even the Taliban outfit during its reign dynamited and destroyed the giant Buddha statue in central Bamyan province months before its collapse in late 2001.
However, Rahimi said that the national artifacts had been recovered and all the relics are in safe hands.
He also said that only 231 relics out of some 70,000 items belonging to the national museum are housed in the national museum building currently, adding that the existing building is not big enough to preserve all the items and work for construction of the new building would begin next year.
Rahimi described museum and holding cultural treasures exhibitions as important means for introducing civilizations and enhancing understanding and cooperation among peoples of different regions.