Taliban hunt if Bactrian Treasure has been moved out of Afghanistan

The Ministry of Information and Culture of the caretaker Taliban government in Afghanistan said on Thursday that it has begun efforts to track and locate the Bactrian Treasure.

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 have been raised over its safety, Tolo News reported.

Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Cultural Commission of the Taliban cabinet, said that 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, Tolo News reported.

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, the report added.

The Bactrian Treasury is recognised as one of the biggest collections of gold in the world, which was discovered four decades ago in the Tela Tapa area of Sherberghan district, the centre of northern Jawzjan province.

The collection comprises jewels and gold, which were discovered at an ancient royal cemetery site. The remains of seven people were decorated with thousands of pieces of gold, the report said.

The collection, which has been displayed abroad, consists of 21,145 pieces of gold.

The treasure dates to the Kushan empire, say experts.