Scientists Debate Solving the Ultimate Jigsaw Puzzle - The Buddhas of BamiyanFebruary 27, 2011 0 Comments
Readers might remember back in February 2001 when the world watched in horror as Islamic religious fanatics dynamited two colossal Buddha statues that had stood for over 15 centuries. Known as the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the statues originally were seen by the Taliban as a source of tourist income until a campaign by hardline clerics led to their destruction.
Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, researchers from Europe and Japan have poured into the region, scouring for as many of the statue fragments as possible, some weighing up to 2 tons each. In theory, they now believe they can reassemble the smaller Buddha, which had stood 38 meters tall. All that stands in the way, of course, is money and local politics/culture. Another possibility they're considering is transporting the pieces to Germany for reconstruction.
While the destruction of these ancient statues was truly tragic, there have been a few positive discoveries in the aftermath. After the statues were destroyed, researchers found a cave system with dozens of ancient paintings on the walls. In addition, a previously unknown 19 meter tall reclining Buddha statue was uncovered at the site of the destroyed Bamiyans in 2008.
As you can see from the video, the reconstruction efforts have been ongoing for years.