National Museum


Tajikistan's national museum is housed in an impressive modern building with an elliptical roof and giant atrium. The collection encompasses three main sections – natural history, archaeology and contemporary fine arts – and displays include minerals (including a giant mineral tree), dioramas of snow leopards and Marco Polo sheep, suits of armour and musical instruments. Among the most important exhibits are the murals from ancient Penjikent and an exquisite 10th-century wooden mehrab (mosque prayer niche) found near Ayni.

Other noteworthy parts of the museum's modest collection is a reconstruction of the 7th-century Ajina-Tepe Buddhist monastery (the original reclining Buddha is housed in the National Museum of Antiquities) and an interesting set of gifts to the state, mostly modern, from around the world. Labels include English translations.

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