Lawmakers, Activists Call For Reconstruction Of Bamiyan Buddhas


A number of lawmakers and civil society activists have warned that if the Buddha sculptures in Bamiyan province are not rebuilt, remnants of the monuments will be completely wiped out.

This comes on the 15th anniversary of the destruction of the two Buddhas by the Taliban. ‎ “The sculptures had created many jobs for poor Afghans and it served as a tourist attraction for Afghanistan,” said Gul Badshah Majidi, a lawmaker.

Mohiuddin Farahmand, a civil society activist, said that traces of the monuments will completely vanish if the government does not take action to reconstruct them.

“If not reconstructed, I am concerned that the monuments will be completely destroyed and then we will not be able to compensate this big loss,” he added.

The niches where the sculptures stood are considered valuable heritage sites.

“They were wonders of the world, because constructing such great sculptures in the fifth century was not easy. The only things that attracted foreigners and brought fame to Afghanistan were these sculptures in Bamiyan,” said Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, acting head of the Afghanistan National Museum.

Abdul Ahad Abasi, head of historical monuments department at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said a large number of tourists used to come to Afghanistan to see the sculptures and the scenery in Bamiyan. “The destruction of the sculptures, indeed, had a negative impact,” he added.

Salsal and Shamama, the two Buddha sculptures, were 1,600 years old and were considered a master piece of Buddhism art.

Recently a Chinese team used 3D laser light projections to revive the Buddhas. However, Afghans believe that it was a short term step. They said practical steps should be taken for the reconstruction of the sculptures.

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