Ancient, near-pristine Buddha from Mes Aynak revealed at Kabul Museum

A 2012 excavation from Mes Aynak has been spectacularly restored by a team of French, Italian, and Afghan workers, and now unveiled at the Kabul National Museum.

The statue is a fruit of assiduous work by archaeologists on the site of Mes Aynak and a rare rescue from relentless looters, who left many of Mes Aynak's Buddha statues headless. The colors of the statue is still vibrant and reveals Greek influence brought by Alexander the Great around 330 BC. Details of the face, the black curls of the Buddha's bun, its pink cheeks and deep blue eyes point to a "truly sophisticated technique," of Mes Aynak craftsmen of the time, says Ermano Carbonara, an Italian expert who worked on the restoration.

It's great to hear that restored works from Mes Aynak continue to go on display for the public at the National Museum. However, Kabul and Mes Aynak are hardly safe from security threats, as shown in this month's horrific news of the attack of Kabul Hospital. Continued and substantial support and attention from within the country and from the international community is as critical as ever.