Treasures from the National Museum of Afghanistan on View at the British Museum

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LONDON (AP).- The British Museum‘s latest exhibition displays ancient artifacts in gold, glass, stone and ivory from Afghanistan, a country whose fortune, and curse, has long been to lie at a crossroads of cultures, traders, artists and armies. That these objects have survived for thousands of years is remarkable. That they have survived the last three decades of Soviet invasion, civil war, Taliban vandalism and continuing conflict seems little short of a miracle. The items in this touring show, whose London leg was being opened Tuesday by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, were thought lost in the destruction of the National Museum of Afghanistan in the 1990s. In fact, they had gone underground, hidden away just before the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 by museum staff, who kept the secret, despite personal risk, during the years of Taliban rule. “Many times they brought forces to the National Museum (to ask) ‘Where are these ar