Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Historic Footage of Bamiyan Statues

Take a tour of the Bamiyan statutes with Hal, Halla and David Linker's 1973 television travelogue series, "The Wild, the Weird, and the Wonderful." Here, they start out showing us the yurts in which they lived while exploring the Bamiyan Valley. But soon after that, they take us on a fascinating tour of the caves.  They show us the remains of perhaps the largest Buddha at 175 feet.

The film clip is from the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution collection of historical moving images. I found it on the You Tube. Here's another , shorter clip about the statutes.

The statutes were destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. The leader, Mullah Omar, believed the statutes represented idolatry. The Buddhas were all carved into the sandstone cliff of the Bamiyan Valley in central Afghanistan. Some wonder if the Buddhas should be rebuilt.

In 2006, NPR visited the Bamiyan Valley  to see how things had changed since  the caves were destroyed.  The reporters discovered archaeologists examining the left over fragments of the destroyed Buddha, like a foot.

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