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buddha

The famed Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan are now set to rise from rubble after they were blown up by the Talibanis in 2003. Now, even as the Taliban seeks to re-establish its presence in Afghanistan, Afghan authorities are trying to figure out a way to put the Buddhas back together again.

 

Six-years-ago Afghanistan was dominated by Talibanis who left no stoned unturned in obliterating its artistic beauty.

 

The two tallest standing Buddhas in the world—silent sentinels over the spectacular snow-capped valley of Bamiyan for 1,500 years—were blown away with dynamite, then shelled. What had taken hundreds of years to build – reduced to rubble and dust in just hours.

 

“It was a really a hard time not just for me and for my colleagues but also for the Afghan people seeing those beautiful monuments turn into rubble,” Omara Masoudi Director Kabul Museum said.

 

For the past three-years archeologists and restoration experts have been cataloguing thousands of fragments from the giant destroyed statues. It is like trying to assemble the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle

 

Bamiyan’s governor Habiba Sarabi, the only woman governor in the entire country, says archaeologists are still deciding how to rebuild the Buddhas—but she wants them back.

 

CNN correspondent Peter Bergen spoke to Habiba Sarabi and asked her how many fragments are there and if it is possible to put those statues back together in shape.

 

“For the small Buddha statue there are one and half thousand pieces but for the large one there are more that three thousand pieces. Putting them back together is going to be hard but very professional work. We are optimistic, definitely,” she said.

 

But for now the Buddhas lie in piles, a testament to the destructive zeal of the Taliban, and the difficulty of recovering from those years.

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