Italian envoy formally reopens Swat Museum closed by militants

The famous Swat museum, shut down by Taliban militants six years ago, has been reopened to the public in a bid to revive tourism in Pakistan's scenic Swat valley.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014, 12:56 PM IST

Peshawar: The famous Swat museum, shut down by Taliban militants six years ago, has been reopened to the public in a bid to revive tourism in Pakistan's scenic Swat valley.

The museum - located in Saidu Sharif of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province - was renovated with the assistance of Government of Italy. Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Andriano Chiodi Cianfarani formally inaugurated the museum yesterday.

A total of 2041 archaeological objects, dating from 2nd to 10th Century BC, were at display in the nine galleries at the museum.

Mostly objects of Ghaznavi, Hindu Shai, Gandhara, model stupa, Buddhist stupa, jewellery, fire stuff, Kohistan dresses, weaving machine, wooden handicrafts, and Musical instruments, were at display.

Similarly, more than 222 coins belonging to different historical periods, excavated from various archaeological sites were also showcased at the museum.

The Italian Ambassador in his keynote speech reaffirmed the commitment of the government of Italy for continuous support in promotion of archaeological tourism under its mission in Swat.

He praised the efforts of all actors, who played a vital role in renovation and opening of the museum, particularly government of Pakistan, Pakistan Army, and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The opening of Swat Museum would provide great opportunity to visitors, researchers, academia and students of Archaeology, to take full benefit of these rich archaeological objects, displayed at the Swat Museum, he said.

He praised the Italian Mission and Pakistan Army for making the task possible.

The Italian envoy further said that about 95 per cent of archaeological objects on display were excavated using scientific ways.

He stressed the need for using the discovered ancient archaeological objects in the best interests of the general public, archaeologists, researchers, and academicians.

The ambassador observed that the rich legacy and culture of Swat is playing an important role in the promotion of archaeological tourism and reiterated the continued support of the Italian mission in Swat for this purpose.

We don't want to finish archaeological mission in the valley of Swat, and it would continue in future as well, he said.

He said that Rs 210 million has been allocated for the promotion of archaeology, out of which Rs 40 million has been set aside for renovation of the Museum under the ACT-Project.