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AFGHANISTAN'S Giant Buddhas of Bamiyan

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Author Topic: AFGHANISTAN'S Giant Buddhas of Bamiyan  (Read 3196 times)
Bianca
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« on: November 09, 2008, 08:03:06 am »




               








                                                Dynamiting and destruction, March 2001
 






The statues were destroyed by dynamite over several weeks, starting in early March, carried out in different stages. Initially, the statues were fired at for several days using anti-aircraft guns and artillery. This damaged them, but did not obliterate them. Later, the Taliban placed anti-tank mines at the bottom of the niches, so that when fragments of rock broke off from artillery fire, the statues would receive additional destruction from particles that set off the mines. In the end, the Taliban lowered men down the cliff face and placed explosives into holes in the Buddhas.

On March 6, 2001 The Times quoted Mullah Mohammed Omar as stating, "Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to God that we have destroyed them." He had changed his position from being in favor of the statues to being against them. During a March 13 interview for Japan's Mainichi Shimbun, Afghan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel stated that the destruction was anything but a retaliation against the international community for economic sanctions: "We are destroying the Buddha statues in accordance with Islamic law and it is purely a religious issue".

On March 18, The New York Times reported that a Taliban envoy said the Islamic government made its decision in a rage after a foreign delegation offered money to preserve the ancient works. The report also added, however, that other reports "have said the religious leaders were debating the move for months, and ultimately decided that the statues were idolatrous and should be obliterated."

Then Taliban ambassador-at-large, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, said that the destruction of the statues was carried out by the Head Council of Scholars after a single Swedish monuments expert proposed to restore the statues' heads. Hashimi is reported as saying: "When the Afghani head council asked them to provide the money to feed the children instead of fixing the statues, they refused and said, 'No, the money is just for the statues, not for the children'. Herein, they made the decision to destroy the statues".

However, he did not comment on the fact that a foreign museum offered to "buy the Buddhist statues, the money from which could have been used to feed children."
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:05:40 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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