90pc of Gandhara artifacts seized in Sindh are fake
By: Syed Inayat Ali Shah
PESHAWAR: The report of the five-member inquiry committee constituted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Archaeology Department to visit Karachi to examine the Gandhara statues and artifacts seized by the Sindh police disclosed that 90 percent of the held assets were fake or replicas of the original.
Divulging details of the inquiry, Director Archaeology and Museums KP, Dr Shah Nazar Khan said that soon after the incident a probe committee was constituted to ascertain the originality and details of the items.
He said the committee, headed by noted archaeologist and sculpture expert Dr Farid Khan, with Dr Abdul Samad, chairman Department of Archeology Hazara University Mansehra, Nidaullah Sehri, curator of the Peshawar Museum, Faizur Rahman, curator Swat Museum, and Fawad Khan, gallery assistant at Peshawar Museum, as members were sent to Karachi to examine the antiques.
He said the committee documented the 392 relics, including 85 metal objects and prepared its detailed inventory. However, after detailed analysis, the experts submitted that among the 392 artifacts almost 90 percent were replicas and only 10 percent were genuine, he said.
The official added that the held artifacts were assessed and examined on the criteria of fake, tampered and genuine. The expert established that a portion of the held objects belonged to the Bhuddist Gandhara civilisation and were illegally excavated and transported from KP for smuggling abroad from the port city of Karachi.
He pointed out that majority of the statues and the artifacts were direct copies or replicas of the Gandharan art, which were held by the police in the first week of July.