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'Hidden Treasures' Closes in Washington After Succesful Four-Month Stay

When the exhibit "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures of the National Museum, Kabul" opened to the public at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 2008, its 228 pieces and the story they told dazzled the visitors that came to view them. The New York Times called the exhibit "revelatory and heart-rending," while the Washington Diplomat noted that it expressed a "rousing tale of intrigue, discovery and courage in the face of extreme adversity."

The exhibit formally closed on Sunday, September 7, after 215,000 people had come to see it during its four months in the nation's capital. Some 7,000 people visited the exhibit on the last day alone.

The exhibit told of an Afghanistan beyond the headlines, one of dynamic history, diverse cultures and enduring bravery. The artifacts present Afghanistan as a crossroads of civilizations, a trading roundabout that connected East and West and adopted cultural habits from the two. Just as importantly, the exhibit tells the story of the brave men who risked their lives to protect the artifacts from the ravages of decades of conflict, first with the Soviet Union and then with the Taliban. CBS News' Morley Safer recently visited the exhibit, calling it a "treasure hunter's fantasy."

While the exhibit has closed in Washington, it will spend the next year touring the U.S. On October 24 it opens at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, while on February 22, 2009 it opens at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and on June 23, 2009 it completes its national tour with a showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Related News and Resources:

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul (National Geographic)

Silent Survivors of Afghanistan's 4,000 Tumultuous Years (New York Times)

Away We Go: Discover Afghanistan's Hidden Treasures (The Capital)

The Silk Road, Paved in Gold (Washington Post)

All is Not Lost (Washington Dipomat)

Hidden Treasures on Facebook


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