Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Should We Rebuild the Buddhas of Bamiyan?

Llewelyn Morgan

Lecturer in Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford

Posted: 04/06/2012 00:00
When you've spent 18 months writing a book calledThe Buddhas of Bamiyan, and - let's be honest - when you'd quite like to flog a copy or two, all the recent talk about reconstructing one of the colossal statues demolished by the Taliban can seem heaven-sent. Those 18 months were spent discovering that places don't come any more historically significant than Bamiyan.

In AD 629 the Buddhas were visited by Xuanzang, the great Chinese traveller sometimes described as the Marco Polo of the East: he left a precious account of their original, brightly-coloured decoration. Later they were celebrated wonders of the Islamic world, monuments of which it was said that there were "no equals in this world."

At the end of the 18th century an eccentric but influential British author proposed that Bamiyan was the Garden of Eden: a string of dropouts, spies, and Christian missionaries visited Bamiyan from British India in his wake, and though all of them found a place of breathtaking natural beauty, the earthly paradise proved more elusive. Even the destruction of the Buddhas in 2001 was connected in murky ways to the greatest historical turning-point of recent times, in New York later the same year....Continue Reading...

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