The collection at the Afghanistan Museum in Exile, created in Switzerland in 1999, will be sent back to Kabul now that the situation in the city has been deemed stable.
The museum's officials decided to let the collection go after UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural agency, determined the Afghan capital is safe enough, according to The Art Newspaper, an international publication that covers the visual art world.
The museum is in the village of Bubendorf, 20 kilometres outside of Basel. Swiss scholar Paul Bucherer-Dietschi established the museum to house artifacts from the war-torn country.
Bucherer-Dietschi is the director of the Swiss Afghanistan Institute in Bubendorf, which safeguards historical papers about Afghanistan.
At the start of the museum's creation, Bucherer-Dietschi had been arranging to relocate the collection at the Kabul Museum through UNESCO. But it proved to be too difficult under the Taliban regime.
Although some pieces were taken out of the museum between 1999 and 2001, most of Afghanistan's cultural legacy was destroyed when the Taliban ransacked the museum in March 2001.
The Taliban were toppled by a coalition of U.S.-led forces and Afghanistan's Northern Alliance in late 2001.
The Swiss museum became a repository of Afghan artifacts donated by private collectors from around the world and has about 1,300 objects.
It includes 200 archaeological items, including finds from Ai Khanoum, such as a gargoyle of Alexander the Great's fighting dog and an important foundation stone from the site. All this material is to be handed over shortly to the Kabul Museum, which was reconstructed two years ago.
Pieces will be transferred to Kabul starting early in the new year.
Anyone know what this "gargoyle of Alexander the Great's fighting dog" is?