Officials of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the caretaker cabinet on Thursday said they have begun efforts to track and locate the Bactrian Treasure.
Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Cultural Commission of the cabinet, said their assessments show that items of the national museum, the national archive and the national gallery and other historical and ancient monuments are safe in their locations.
However, according to Wasiq, they have assigned the relevant departments to find and check on the Bactrian Treasure.
“The issue is under investigation, and we will collect information to know what the reality is. If it has been transferred (out of Afghanistan), it is a treason against Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan will take serious actions if this and other ancient items are moved out of the country,” he said.
Wasiq also added that any contract that has been signed with the international community over the protection of ancient and historical monuments will remain in place.
The Bactrian Treasure is an important asset of Afghanistan that was brought to the presidential palace by the former government in February 2021 and was put on display for the people.
However, after the collapse of the former government, concerns were raised over its safety.
Residents told TOLOnews that the Bactrian Treasure is a national asset and should be protected properly in the country.
“Why should they have transferred it? It should remain in our country,” said Hashmat, a Kabul resident.
Kabul resident Sauhail said: “Ancient and historical monuments belong to the country and they should be protected.”
Historic background of Bactrian Treasure:
The Bactrian Treasury is recognized as one of the biggest collections of gold in the world and was discovered four decades ago in the Tela Tapa area of Sherberghan district, the center of northern Jawzjan province.
The collection is composed of jewels and gold and was discovered at an ancient royal cemetery site. The remains of seven people were decorated with thousands of pieces of gold.
The collection, which has been displayed abroad, is composed of 21,145 pieces of gold.
The treasure dates to the Kushan empire, say expert.
The Kushan Empire was formed by the Yuezhi in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century.