Afghanistan: Crossroads of Culture
A country without knowledge of its heritage is like a tree without roots. It is my hope that the return of these artifacts to their home will help Afghanistan further strengthen its roots so that we can turn to face the future even stronger.
— Ambassador Roya Rahmani
Ambassador Roya Rahmani finalized the repatriation of 33 trafficked ancient artifacts, and honored their return to Afghan care by hosting a temporary exhibit “Afghanistan: Crossroads of Cultures.”
These artifacts, ranging from the 2nd-8th century, were trafficked out of Afghanistan and recovered in a series of raids taking place between 2012-2014. The artifacts are valued at $1.8 million, and their diversity is reflective of Afghanistan’s long history as a cultural crossroads.
The preservation of Afghanistan’s history is paving the path for civilization and society to grow. Without respecting and celebrating our past and our present, we cannot move forward to a future where Afghanistan is at peace and the region is stable.
Thank you to all who helped in the recovery process and in the creation of the exhibit. Special thanks to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., his staff, the members of the Antiquities Trafficking Unit led by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, the officers of the Homeland Security Investigations team, and Dr. Fredrik Hiebert.