Rebuilding the Bamiyan Buddhas

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  07.27.11 | 5:16 PM ET

The famous Afghan statues were demolished by the Taliban in 2001. World Hum contributor Joanna Kakissis reports on the painstaking rebuilding process for NPR:

Up to half of the Buddha pieces can be recovered, according to Bert Praxenthaler, a German art historian and sculptor, who has been working at the site for the past eight years. He and his crew have sifted through 400 tons of rubble and have recovered many parts of the statues along with shrapnel, land mines and explosives that were used in their demolition.

But how do you rebuild the Buddhas from the rubble?

“The archaeological term is ‘anastylosis,’ but most people think it’s some kind of strange disease,” said Praxenthaler.

For those in the archaeology world, “anastylosis” is actually a familiar term. It was the process used to restore the Parthenon of Athens. It involves combining the monument’s original pieces with modern material.

(Via @juliaindc)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Rebuilding the Bamiyan Buddhas

Stavros 09.18.11 | 3:17 PM ET

History leaves strong scars. And it seams that it is coming in cycles. Buddha statue to be reconstructed, a new hope for the war torn nation.

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