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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:42

Afghanistan: returning ivories

Video transcript

organic artifact conservation section of the conservation department of the first museum the moment we're working on survivors from Afghanistan they're particularly fragile than a very deteriorated to state and we are actually having to clean them and stabilize them for the exhibition the ivory plox that we're conserving at the moment were originally attached a wooden furniture that was probably made in India in the first century AD and then transported to Afghanistan where it was subsequently buried and then it was excavated again in the 1930s and went to the National Museum in Kabul it disappeared from the National Museum again during the unrest and first we knew about these objects was when they reimbursed at the end of 2010 a climate individual wish to see them restored to the National Museum in Kabul and the British Museum became involved as part of that process of returning them to the museum when I first received this object called playful lion there were pieces in the center which really didn't appear to belong to it here we have a picture of what it was like when I received it and if you see in the center there these two pieces of ivory which don't really line up with anything that they just don't fit they're the wrong color the wrong shape and I took pieces out and had a closer look at them and this lower piece actually has some markings on it and it appeared to be the surface when I don't stick closely on the microscope I realized that it actually tied in with the lines here lines here and when I put it there I found that it was such a part the lines poor and below that there was another piece of ivory which was another piece of the poor and so altogether we managed to get the rest of the poor you can see that this pieces these pieces have been taken out and they are now fitted into here the poor is basically got the whole of the Lions poor back these I've Lou Clark's have have suffered a bit i mean they're a couple of thousand years old and although I've we came to be preserved very well ivory that's been buried can-can suffered so it's been a delicate job to conserve these for display and also to make them condition where they're stable enough to be transported back to Afghanistan you