Bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting by
These overtures were rejected by the Taliban. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese, and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas. That is why I ordered its destruction.
The larger statue reappears as the malevolent giant Salsal in medieval Turkish tales. Initially, the statues were fired at for several days using anti-aircraft guns and artillery.
The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression. The Japanese in particular proposed a variety of different solutions to the issue, these included moving the statues to Japan, covering the statues from view, and the payment of money. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.
Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes. This was extremely deplorable. In the end, the Taliban lowered men down the cliff face and placed explosives into holes in the Buddhas.
In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha. The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music, and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia. The Silk Road has been historically a caravan route linking the markets of China with those of the Western world. Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction.
It has given praise to Allah that we have destroyed them. It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity. This caused severe damage, but did not obliterate them. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha's destruction. Their color faded through time.
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