Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF IRANIAN WORLD©
to Compile Gandhara Artefact Database
04 May 2006
(CAIS) -- United Nations Educational Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) plans to computerise data of statues and other
artefacts belonging to the Gandhara in the entire country, official sources
American experts will be hired for technical assistance in computerisation of
the data. The federal government has 2800 statues of Gandhara civilisation on
display in museums and 1200 in its stores. The NWFP government has 4500 such
artefacts but only 912 of them are on display in museums.
The compilation of Gandhara artefacts will help in their identification and
location. Besides, it will also help in locating them when they are moved from
one place to another, legally or illegally, and in knowing their current status.
“It will help us differentiate between genuine and the fake statues and check
illegal movement of genuine ones within or out of the country,” Director
Museums and Archaeology Dr Ihsan Ali said.
The database will include picture of an artefact, its number, location, physical
description, material it is made of and its current status and it would be easy
to trace it even if it is lying in an International museum, officials said.
There has been no incident of theft of artefacts from the Peshawar Museum but
some people are involved in illegal excavation at historic sites and smuggling
of relics out of the country, Dr Ihsan Ali said.
“If funds are available the project could be extended to compile data of the
artefacts owned by private individuals as well,” officials in the provincial
archaeology department said.
The idea to compile the data was taken up last year by UNESCO but its
materialisation was delayed due to various reasons, official sources said adding
that UNESCO officials entrusted with the task of monitoring the project had
cancelled their visit a number of times due to ‘uncertain situation’ in the
Provincial and federal departments of archaeology are ready, but UNESCO has not
so far appointed a national coordinator for the project, an official said.
However another official said that both the governments did not agree on
modalities of the project and it was main reason of delay.
He confirmed that a few months ago visit of a UNESCO official was cancelled due
to protests against publication of Muhamad's cartoons.
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British Institute of Persian Studies