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Tajikistan - Country of Golden Rivers - After a Working Lunch Rahmon and Macron Head for a Paris Museum

French President Emmanuel Macron and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon shake hands as they meet at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

On October 13, 2021, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon was in Paris meeting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. While the two doubtless will have used the opportunity of their working lunch to discuss Afghanistan and other regional issues, the headline reason for the trip was cultural as the two presidents opened Europe’s largest ever exhibition dedicated to the ancient arts of Tajikistan.

 

Hosted by the Musée Guimet, France’s National Museum of Asian Arts, the key exhibits are great examples of Bronze Age and earlier (‘Eneolithic’) finds from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm, whose name means “where the land begins.” The archaeological site near Penjikent in western Tajikistan hints at how life was lived in the 3rd and 4th millennia BCE. Notably, it shows how “proto-urbanization” developed in the region as cattle rearing and irrigated agriculture allowed the first settled populations to put down roots here and develop trade and cultural relations with peoples as far afield as the Iranian plateau and the Indus Valley.

 

Advertising for the exhibition “Tajikistan - Country of Golden Rivers,” opened officially by the Tajik and French presidents in Paris. Image: MuseeGuimet/Twitter
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TAJIKISTAN, FRANCE