The Maldives' national museum reopened Tuesday without some of its most valuable exhibits a week after a mob of suspected religious extremists smashed images from the pre-Islamic era of this Indian Ocean archipelago.Nothing new here. Thor Heyerdahl noted this behavior years ago.
About 35 exhibits — mostly images of Buddha and Hindu gods — were destroyed. Some of the artifacts dated to the sixth century, museum director Ali Waheed said.
Waheed says 99 percent of the Maldives' pre-Islamic artifacts from before the 12th century, when most inhabitants were Buddhists or Hindus, were destroyed.
"Some of the pieces can be put together but mostly they are made of sandstone, coral and limestone, and they are reduced to powder," he said.