Taliban Promise To Protect Bamiyan’s Buddha Niches
Taliban officials have said that they will preserve the empty niches of the two giant Buddhas in Bamiyan.
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues – locally known as Salsal and Shamama – that were carved into the side of a cliff in Bamiyan.
The buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001. The Taliban said the move had a specific purpose, noting that now the niches of Buddhas would be safeguarded, aimed at promoting the tourism sector of the country.
Mawlawi Saif-ul-Rahman Mohammadi, Head of Bamiyan’s Information and Culture Directorate, stated that local and foreign tourists can visit Bamiyan’s historical sites and Buddhas.
“As an Islamic Emirate’s official in Bamiyan, I am trying my best to preserve these priceless and historical monuments of our province,” Mohammadi said.
Another Taliban member said that they destroyed the Buddhas based on religious ideology in 2001.
“The Taliban did not make a hasty decision at that time , it was reviewed and researched based on Islamic laws and then they destroyed them,” he said.
The heights of Salsal [symbol of a male] and Shamama [symbol of a female] are 53 and 35 meters respectively.
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