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Because Afghanistan's Buddhist population no longer exists, so the statues are no longer worshipped, he added: "The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors.The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected." However, Afghanistan's radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on "un-Islamic" segments of Afghan society.

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The Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar explained why he ordered the statues to be destroyed in an interview: I did not want to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha's destruction.

In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. I thought, these callous people have no regard for thousands of living human beings -- the Afghans who are dying of hunger, but they are so concerned about non-living objects like the Buddha. Information and Culture Minister Qadratullah Jamal told Associated Press of a decision by 400 religious clerics from across Afghanistan declaring the Buddhist statues against the tenets of Islam.

A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamiyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China's Gansu province.

The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.

Built in 507 CE (smaller) and 554 CE (larger), The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco.

This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands, and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors. View More Dating Advice, Is your date head-over-heels use of oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european you, Should you worry when love seems to happen at a too-fast-to-be-true rate. monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures.It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts.The larger figure was also said to portray Dīpankara Buddha.

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