Ancient Masterpiece Returns to Afghanistan

A looted ancient sculpture has been recovered by the Metropolitan Police and the British Museum.

A sculpture that was stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul almost 30 years ago is to be returned to its country, the British newspaper the Guardian reported on Saturday.

Carved in the 2nd century from limestone, the sculpture of two bulls was excavated in the 1950s in northern Afghanistan but was looted during the civil war in the early 1990s, according to the Guardian report.

Where the piece went after being looted is unknown, but they it was spotted by the Art Loss Register (ALR), which has an international database of stolen artworks, on the website of Timeline Auctions, and reported to the police, the report said.

The seller immediately relinquished ownership and its status was confirmed by the British Museum, where Dr St John Simpson, a senior curator, recognised the sculpture immediately. “It’s a very well-known, unique piece,” he told the Observer, the Guardian said in the report.