Whether to fill the niches?
Only months before the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan declared the arrival of a new enemy. The Taliban believed the pair of ancient Buddhas represented idolatrous beliefs.
Now, in hopes of drawing tourists, Afghanistan is mulling what to put in their place. Do they use the rubble of the fallen rock, once carved by monks to spread the word of the Buddha? Create something new? Or leave the gaping niches as a reminder. Unesco and conservators are closely watching and weighing in. —Diane Richard, writer, March 26
Image: Shefayee/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Source: Rod Nordland, “Countries Divided on Future of Ancient Buddhas,” New York Times,March 22, 2014