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28.11.2019 ‘Fasting Buddha’ returns to Kabul
 Hundreds of antiquities seized from smugglers at Kabul airport and a
unique Buddha bust confiscated in Hong Kong were handed over to the
National Museum of Afghanistan on Thursday.

A ceremony was held in this connection at the NMA. These artifacts,
numbering more than 500, included gold coins, monuments, statues from
various eras, and a Buddha bust called the ''Fasting Buddha."

Fahim Rahimi, the head of the NMA, said the ancient Buddhist monument,
dating back to the third and fourth centuries, was stolen from the museum
in 1993 and has finally returned to the National Museum after 26 years. He
said the monuments are part of the country's treasures, and the government
must pay close attention to preserving and restoring the rest.

Rasoul Bawari, deputy minister of culture and art at the Ministry of
Information and Culture, said 70,000 items have been smuggled out of the
country during the civil war, but only a small number have been returned
to the country.

The National Museum of Afghanistan was created in 1918 to preserve the
monuments in Kabul. Before the civil war, it was one of the richest
museums in the region, holding up to 100,000 national antiquities and a
famous collection of coins, and was one of the major tourist attractions
in the country.

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