Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Afghan National Gallery

After the Uzbekistan trek fell through, I used my unexpected additional days in Kabul to play the tourist about town. The Lonely Planet guide recommended the Afghan National Gallery as a collection worth seeing if only to pay respect to the efforts of its administrators to protect their art from the Taliban. A display case on the first floor shows samples of less-lucky paintings:

The memorial of shredded canvass is far from the only unique feature of the museum. The building is drastically undersized, and well over half the collection sits stacked against the walls - through rooms and down the hallways. While no longer threatened with destruction, most of the art still isn't actually on display, unless you're willing to shuffle large frames about very, very carefully.

One entire room held portraits of Afghan and international leaders, though the remainder of the museum suggested no other pattern. I saw a British pheasant-hunt hanging in the stairwell, and this portrait of an Afghan patriot, but these were a few of my other favorite pieces:

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