Oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting

Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.

Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley.

Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs.

Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes.

Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction. Later, the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues.

Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.

Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating around the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997, even before he had taken control of the valley.

In 1998 when he battled off the Hizb-i-Wahdat militia from the area and took control of Bamiyan, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas' heads for explosives.

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.

monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 metres (8,200 ft).

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