On June 23, a new exhibit opened at the Met: Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul. My friend and I were able to go a few days before the opening, thanks to a members-only preview, courtesy of my mother.
History and fascinating story of the treasures' discovery aside (read here if you'd like even more background), I was wowed by the gold. Much of what's on display was discovered either in archeological digs or in a vault in the presidential palace, where citizens with foresight hid the treasures to protect them from war: jewelry, a belt, an amazing crown (shown here; it breaks down into six pieces for easy transport), a dagger sheath, clasps, anklets, rings, pendants, bowls ... the list goes on.
My favorite item, just for the sheer excess of it all -- and proving that showing your status via footwear is not a new thing -- was the pair of gold shoe soles designed to be placed with a body when buried. I guess mere sandals wouldn't do in the afterlife.
My friend and I really enjoyed the exhibit, which features many more items, gold and non-gold, such as glass, ivory and gemstones. But the gold alone is worth seeing if you are in NYC or planning a visit this summer. The exhibit will be at the Met until September 20 and is included in the price of admission to the museum.
(BTW, I also saw the Francis Bacon exhibit while there. He scared me a little, but viewing his work, you can see it's from the mind of a tortured genius.)