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Dr Asefi is an artist who at…

“Dr. Asefi is an artist who, at great personal risk, had disguised the figures of human beings in 80 oil paintings at the gallery by applying a veneer of watercolor paint over them. He had thus saved the pictures from destruction at the hands of the Taliban, who had forbidden representations of the human form as sacrilege. Now, as an assortment of ministers, journalists, artists and local intellectuals looked on, Dr. Asefi, scrubbed up in a starchy new suit, approached a painting, dipped a cloth in water and began washing the watercolor away, revealing the original figures beneath, still intact.”

“…of the 820 paintings in his care at the time, only 50 per cent were destroyed or stolen. The artist Asefi was later awarded the Order of the Star medal for his efforts in protecting the paintings of the National Art Gallery in this way.”

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