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Release Date: May 8, 2008

Interactive Web Features Now Available for Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from The National Museum, Kabul

Washington, DC—In anticipation of the May 25 opening of Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul in Washington, the National Gallery of Art and National Geographic Society have created two interactive Web sites will be available for the duration of the exhibition’s U.S. tour: National Gallery of Art, Washington (May 25–September 7, 2008); Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (October 24, 2008–January 25, 2009); the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (February 22–May 17, 2009); and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 15–September 20, 2009). The portal to these sites is

On the National Gallery of Art Web site (address above) a short trailer for the documentary film highlights the dramatic 2004 recovery of ancient objects hidden during the decades of turmoil in the country. The video is also available via Apple iTunes™. The 28-minute version of the National Geographic documentary will air later in the year on public broadcasting stations. A "timeline of treasures" highlights close-ups of artifacts from the Bronze Age (2200 BC) through the rise of trade along the Silk Road from c. 300 BC to c. 200 AD. The timeline includes descriptions of the areas where the artifacts (on view in the exhibition) were originally found. The site will also offer a print-friendly PDF of a special Family Guide to the exhibition, available in late May.

In addition to the short trailer, the National Geographic Web site provides video, maps, and six audio slideshows featuring historical and cultural information from many important archaeological and cultural sites in Afghanistan. Included are the Kabul Museum, Tillya Tepe, Bamian, Aï Khanum, and Begram, as well as other information about Silk Road cultures. Stories about how the artifacts in this exhibition were hidden for some 25 years—from just before the Soviet invasion in 1979, through the Afghan civil wars, and during Taliban rule—and contemporary stories about the country shed new light on this former heart of the Silk Road. Visit

The National Geographic Web site also provides links to purchase books, videos, and a dual-sided map features the borders, history, landscape, and peoples of Afghanistan.

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

It is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities

The exhibition at the National Gallery of Art is made possible by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. It is also supported by The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

The works in the exhibition are the sole property of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

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