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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)
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« on: November 09, 2008, 08:08:31 am »


Though the figures of the two large Buddhas are almost completely destroyed, their outlines and some features

are still recognizable within the recesses. It is also still possible for visitors to explore the monks' caves and the

passages which connect them. As part of the international effort to rebuild Afghanistan after the Taliban war,

the Government of Japan and several other organizations, among them the Afghanistan Institute in Bubendorf,

Switzerland, along with the ETH in Zurich, have committed themselves to rebuilding the two largest Buddhas;

anastylosis is one technique being considered.

Developments since 2002

In May 2002, a mountainside sculpture of the Buddha was carved out of a mountain in Sri Lanka.

It was designed to closely resemble one of the Buddhas of Bamyan.

The Afghan government has commissioned Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata to recreate the Bamyan Buddhas using fourteen laser systems to project the images of the Buddhas onto the cliff where they once stood. The laser systems will be solar and wind-powered. The project, which will cost an estimated $9 million, is currently pending UNESCO approval. If approved, the project is estimated to be completed by June 2012.

In September 2005, Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi, Taliban governor of Bamyan province at the time
of the destruction and widely seen as responsible for its occurrence, was elected to the Afghan Parliament.
On January 26, 2007, he was gunned down in Kabul.

Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei made a 95-minute documentary entitled The Giant Buddhas (released in March 2006) on the statues, the international reactions to their destruction, and an overview of the controversy.
The movie makes the controversial claim (quoting a local Afghan) that the destruction was ordered by Osama Bin Laden and that initially, Mullah Omar and the Afghans in Bamyan had opposed the destruction.

In the summer of 2006, Afghan officials were deciding the timetable for the re-construction of the statues.
The mullahs[who?] in the province have stated that the destruction was an "atrocity" and the statues deserve restoration.[citation needed] While they wait for the Afghan government and international community to decide whether to rebuild them, a $1.3 million UNESCO-funded project is sorting out the chunks of clay and plaster ranging from boulders weighing several tons to fragments the size of tennis balls and sheltering them from the elements.

The Buddhist remnants at Bamyan were included on the 2008 World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund. It is hoped that the listing will put continued national and international attention on the site in order to ensure its long-term preservation, and to make certain that
future restoration efforts maintain the authenticity of the site and that proper preservation practices are followed.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:12:50 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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