Top UN officials and envoys visit exhibition of Buddhist Art

APP, Sept 10, 2011

NEW YORK, USA -- Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Friday paid tributes to Lord Buddha as “one of the greatest sages” at a special viewing of the ongoing exhibition of the Buddhist civilization from Pakistan’s Gandhara region that he arranged for UN delegates and arts lovers of New York.

Speaking to over 200 guests at Asia Society, where the exhibition is on view, Haroon said that Buddha’s preachings revolve around attaining salvation from worldly sufferings, universal brotherhood, peace and non-violence.Among those present were the President-elect of the UN General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, the Deputy
Secretary-General of United Nations, Asha-Rose Migiro, top UN officials, noted artists and elite of the city.

Most of the works in the exhibit, “The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara,” are on loan from the National Museum in Karachi and Lahore Museum in Lahore.

The show, which runs until October 30, is the first to bring works of Gandharan art to the United States since 1960.
The guests elicited keen interest in the spectacular Buddhist art pieces as many of the works from the historically rich region have never been shown before in the United States.

Ambassador Haroon, who played a pivotal role in facilitating the release of the precious objects from the museums in Pakistan to New York, said he wanted people here to see the very rich cultural heritage of Pakistan.

In her welcome address, the President Asia Society, Vishakha Desai, said that her organization has a “long and deep commitment” to Pakistan, citing various cultural events held here over the years.

She said a lot of work went in before the relics could be released and flown to New York. Ms. Desai lauded Ambassador Haroon’s efforts, saying but for him the exhibition would not have happened. “Bringing the show was a major feat,” said Melissa Chiu, the director of the Asia Society’s Museum.

Chiu, who paid several visits to Pakistan, said some Pakistani officials, specially Ambassador Haroon, helped clear those hurdles she faced. The president-elect of 192-member General Assembly congratulated Ambassador Haroon and Asia Society for organizing such an “important” exhibition.