Multimillion-dollar gleam at museum

Local | Charlotte Luo 8 Mar 2019

Valuable antiques from Afghanistan will be shown at the Hong Kong Museum of History from November to February.

It will be the first time Hong Kong has worked with the National Museum of Afghanistan to host an antiques exhibition.

A total of 231 items will be showcased, with more than half of them made of gold.

Among them is a gold belt valued at over HK$100 million and a gold crown worn by an Afghan imperial concubine thought to be worth about HK$90 million.

The crown was discovered in a tomb at an archeological site and is from 25-50 AD.

Museum director Belinda Wong Sau-lan said the exhibition includes antiques from 2,000 BC and the first century.

She noted that Afghanistan sits in the middle of the Silk Road - near China and the Persian Empire - and so the country's culture is a mix of its own styles and Greek, Roman and Indian cultures.

The antiques have already been exhibited in Europe, the United States and the mainland, and Hong Kong is the last stop of a China tour.

People can also trace the story of how the antiques were protected during times of civil war.

Since the antiques are extremely valuable, Wong added, the National Museum of Afghanistan has requested that security be enhanced.

Apart from the insurance the museum generally takes out, authorities will also consider implementing security checks before people enter the exhibition hall.

The exhibition will be mounted soon after the Hong Kong Museum of Art completes a renovation program, which will be commencing in the near future.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department also announced yesterday that the annual museum festival will be held between June 22 and July 7.

And the newly-opened Xiqu Centre will host the 10th Chinese Opera Festival from June to August.

Last year, public museums in Hong Kong welcomed 5.61 million visitors, and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is now planning collaborations in the Greater Bay Area and encouraging Hong Kong artists to showcase their talents to a wider audience.

charlotte.luo@singtaonewscorp.com

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