Buddha collapsed out of shame

Science magazine reports on another Buddhist archaeological site in Afghanistan that, ten years after the destruction after the destruction of the two huge Bamiyan Buddha statues by the Taliban, is also being threatened, but by something more secular. A former Buddhist monastery sits atop rich copper deposits being eyed by a Chinese mining company.

It’s not just our natural heritage that is threatened by economic interests, but also our rich cultural heritage. Archaeologists are racing to unearth as much of the artifacts as possible before destructive mining practices begin, especially when copper prices begin to rise with inflation upon economic rebound.

It’s interesting to see how the Middle East, now the centre of the Islamic world, was a thriving centre of Buddhism in the long past, something which the Taliban appeared embarassed of and wishes to literally erase all memories of from the face of the earth. Interestingly, the article states how the bombing of the statue “ironically” revealed more insights on how it was built, because of the fragments that were exposed from the blasts.

Two years ago we organised a Buddhist film festival that screened a film with the Bamiyan Buddhas as the backdrop. Not my favourite film, definitely, but oh well.


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