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March 16, 2018

KP, Swiss govts sign MoU: Buddha statue to be displayed in Switzerland

Peshawar

March 16, 2018

PESHAWAR: The biggest Buddha statue in the Peshawar Museum would be displayed at the Rietberg Museum Zurich in Switzerland at an exhibition to promote religious tourism.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the officials of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism and Museums Department and the Switzerland government, the Buddha would be transported to Switzerland where it will be showcased at the Rietberg Museum Zurich to promote religious tourism.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Tourism, Sports, Archeology, Museums and Youth Affairs Muhammad Tariq and Director Rietberg Museum Zurich, Switzerland, Albert Lutz signed the MoU. Secretary National History and Literary Heritage Division Aamir Hassan, Director General of Heritage and Museums, Islamabad, Syed Junaid Akhlaq were also present during the MoU signing ceremony.

The MoU was part of an earlier agreement signed between the Pakistan and Switzerland governments to open new avenues of cooperation in museums sector through capacity-building of museum experts, arranging exchange visits, conducting joint research programmes, publications and to provide scholarships for doctoral and post-doctoral research for professionals and young scholars of Pakistan in Switzerland.

With the devolution of power to provinces after the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was first to ink such an agreement in the Museums sector with a foreign country.

According to the MoU between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Switzerland governments, the biggest statute of Buddha in the Peshawar Museum would be shifted and displayed at an exhibition at the Rietberg Museum Zurich in Switzerland.

The statue would be displayed for a period of three months and 18 days where tourists, religious people and followers of Buddhism can visit and take a look at the historic relic.

The Rietberg Museum Zurich, Switzerland, would be liable to pay $20 million to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government if any damages were caused to the statue during the course of transportation, exhibition and its return to the province, the signing parties agreed.

It is expected that the displaying of the statue of religious importance for many people would attract a huge number of foreign tourists to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular while to the country in general.

Officials at the Directorate of Archeology, Museums and Tourism were confident that the agreement would help promote religious tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and generate revenue for the province.

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