The National Geographic Society has struck a $1 million (Rs4.1 crore) deal with the Afghan government to bring a rare cache of gold artifacts to the US in a travelling exhibition. Plans call for ancient Afghan pieces—part of the 2,000-year-old Bactrian hoard—to be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, although contracts have not yet been signed by those institutions. The exhibition will begin in May 2008 at the National Gallery. According to the deal, Afghanistan will also receive 40% of “total revenue”, which is defined as exhibition revenue, minus expenses.
The collection includes more than 20,000 pieces of gold jewellery, funeral ornaments and personal items from the Silk Road culture of Bactria, an ancient nation that covered parts of what is now Afghanistan. NYT