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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The victory of the void, a defeat for the Taliban

The Bamiyan Buddhas will not be rebuilt, says Unesco. The architect Andrea Bruno proposes a scheme that focuses reverently on their absence

By Anna Somers Cocks. Conservation, Issue 236, June 2012
Published online: 31 May 2012
The empty niche of the Great Buddha in 2010. “The void is the true sculpture,” says Andrea Bruno (inset), Afghanistan’s most seasoned conservation architect

When Andrea Bruno, an architectural consultant to Unesco for the past 40 years, went back to the Bamiyan Buddhas, blown up in March 2001 by the Taliban, he immediately scrapped all ideas he might have had about some sort of replacement. “The void is the true sculpture,” he says. “It stands disembodied witness to the will, thoughts and spiritual tensions of men long gone. The immanent presence of the niche, even without its sculpture, represents a victory for the monument and a defeat for those who tried to obliterate its memory with dynamite.” ...Continue Reading...

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