ISLAMABAD: UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova during her two-day state visit to Pakistan reached Taxila and Lok Virsa Islamabad along with Federal Minister of Education Muhammad Baleegur Rehman and UNESCO Country Director/Representative Kozue Kay Nagata.
Punjab Archaeology Director Dr Saleemul Haq and Taxila Museum Curator Abdul Nasir received the state guest in Taxila on Friday. Abdul Nasir gave the director general a guided tour of the museum. The director general inquired about the specifics of the sculptures and other objects dating back to the Gandhara period.
She also spent some time at the Museum Rest House which used to be the residence of Sir John Marshal, director general of Archaeological Survey of India during 1902-1922, where she was briefed on the development activities on the site and the museum.
“The people of Pakistan must be proud of its heritage. Taxila is a unique site showing so many layers of civilizations in this country, starting with prehistoric heritage and moving to the Greeks, and then to the Buddhist and Islamic cultures. This is a wellspring of creativity, an open book for tolerance, mutual understanding and dialogue, both within the country and abroad,” she said.
Later, the delegation led by the director general was driven to visit the remains of Sirkap site. Speaking to the Museum authorities and the media, she said that Taxila Site and the museum had a great potential to attract national and international visitors so that they could enjoy the first-hand experience of being at the unique historical sites of antiquities and human settlements of the Gandhara Buddhist heritage.
She appreciated the efforts made by the federal and provincial governments in the restoration and preservation of the historical artefacts and sites in Taxila. While taking to the media, she stressed the need for involving the community, especially youth, in the preservation and protection of their cultural heritage.