As a follow up to some previous posts about my mom’s trip to Afghanistan in 1965, here’s one more slide.
I first heard of these Buddhist statues in Bamian when the Taliban put them on the international news circuits in 2001. You know, when the Taliban threatened and then dynamited these gigantic statues, ones that people traveled from all over the world to see. My mom took this slide to remember her trip to view the statues, but never dreamed they would later be destroyed.
Bamian is situated on the old Silk Road, which led from Western Asia to China. These statues were built into sandstone cliffs in the 6th century. The statues were made from sandstone but finished with straw and mud.
While there’s no longer a Buddhist population in Afghanistan, for centuries after the Islamic invasion in the 9th century, the statues served as inspiration to Muslim writers.
And now they’re almost destroyed beyond recognition.
I’ve read that countries like Japan and Switzerland have pledged to help restore the statues. I’d imagine the war would have to taper down a bit before that could happen.