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Pakistan’s archaeological & historical treasures included in Google culture project

More often than not, Pakistan comes in the news for all the wrong reason: terrorism, violence, suicide attacks by militants and of late a depressingly large paedophile and child abuse scandal.

So, in that context, Google’s decision to put up online some of Pakistan’s archaeological and cultural treasures — the project is titled ‘Wonders of Pakistan’ — is a breath of fresh air and should be welcome news for all Pakistanis. Many of the pictures are street views of what could — with the right kind of marketing and publicity — could become some of Pakistan’s most prized tourist attractions such as Derawar Fort in Bahawalpur in Punjab or the Hiran Minar near Lahore. (The Wonders of Pakistan project can be accessed here )

Google’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Director for Asia-Pacific Anna Lavin was recently in Lahore to speak at a ceremony where it was revealed that six online exhibits from Pakistan had been added to Google’s Cultural Institute.

These include collections from Lahore’s Fakir Khana Museum, Karachi’s Mohatta Palace Museum, the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, the AAN Collection, the Lahore Museum and the Walled City of Lahore authority and include over 400 items.

“Pakistan is brimming with a rich historical and cultural heritage, with stories and artifacts that we are keen to preserve for future generations,” Ms Lavin was quoted as having said. She said that the idea was to allow people all over the world to be able to become acquainted with the cultural and historical treasures of other countries and that Google was in an ideal position to do this using technology as a platform.

The images, some of which are reproduced below, allow users to see street view

Sahiwal’s Harappa Museum — has artefacts that date back 2,000 BC

A ring said to be of Raja Porus — who was defeated by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC. From the Fakir Khana Museum in Lahore

The tomb of Waris Shah (1722-98) in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district

The tomb of Baba Bulleh Shah (1680-1757) in Punjab’s Kasur district

The Mankiala Stupa in Rawalpindi district — dating back almost 2,000 years

The Hiran Minar in Sheikupura near Lahore — was opened in 1606 and was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir

Derawar Fort — dating back to the early 18th century — in Ahmadpur East in Punjab’s Bahawalpur district

 

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