Feb 14th 2012
Magh Krushna Ashtami, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
COLOMBO: The Maldives’ national museum reopened on Tuesday without some of its most valuable exhibits a week after a mob of suspected religious extremists smashed images from the pre-Islamic era of this Indian Ocean archipelago.
About 35 exhibits – mostly images of Buddha and Hindu gods – were destroyed in the attack. Some of the artifacts dated back to the sixth century, museum director Ali Waheed said.
Waheed says 99% of the Maldives’ pre-Islamic artifacts from before the 12th century, when most inhabitants were Buddhists or Hindus , were destroyed.
“Some of the pieces can be put together but mostly they are made of sandstone, coral and limestone, and they are reduced to powder,” he said. The mob of suspected Muslim extremists attacked the museum during the Maldives’ unfolding political crisis.
The country has seen weeks of protests and last week president Mohamed Nasheed stepped down.
The attack was the latest blow to the island nation that is best known as a high-end tourist destination.
Source: Times Of India