Narrator: In the heart of Central Asia is an ancient land. For thousands of years it was the hub of the Silk Road. The crossroads of ideas and trade between east and west. A marching ground for powerful empires from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan. Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang described its fertile valleys and giant Buddha statues. Explorer Marco Polo wrote of a land rich with gold and gems. Of objects that tell of great civilisations and a kaleidoscope of people and cultures found here, in Afghanistan.
Over the past three decades, war and chaos have obscured Afghanistan's rich heritage, destroying an extraordinary cultural legacy.
Fredrik Hiebert: It's something that is really just terrible. If you feel that you've lost your culture, you've lost your heritage it's almost irreparable.
Narrator: Afghanistan's great national treasures were nearly lost, but for a few courageous Afghans, who risked their lives to safeguard one of the most important collections of the world's ancient history.
Omara Massoudi: A nation stays alive when its culture stays alive. Our people should know what happened. They should know about their culture, about their history.
Narrator: A history that is revealed in an unmissable exhibition: Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul.
Following a successful tour across the United States and Europe. From March 2013, at Melbourne Museum, Queensland Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Western Australian Museum.