Fourteen years after the Taliban dynamited the world-famous Buddhas of Bamiyan, the giant statues were resurrected with 3D light projection technology in the empty cavities where they once stood in Afghanistan.
The project was undertaken by a Chinese couple who used 3D laser light projection technology to fill the empty cavities in the cliff in the Bamiyan Valley in Hazarajat with Buddha’s virtual images, 230 km northwest of Kabul.
The couple – Janson Yu and Liyan Hu – were saddened by the destruction of the two statues which were carved during the 6th century and decided to undertake the project. They took permission both from the Afghan government and UNESCO to bring the statues back for one night only in the empty cavities in the cliff.
The event on June 7 saw projectors displaying huge holographic statues of the exact size of the precious cultural monuments that were lost, accompanied by music. “The projections were not widely publicised, but over 150 people came to see the spectacle. Crowds remained well into the night and some people played music while others looked on,” a journalist, who witnessed the show, was quoted as saying by The Atlanic.
Both Standing Buddhas – 115 ft and 174 ft tall – were carved out of sandstone cliffs and stood at one point painted and gilded. They managed to survive for more than 1500 years. But the Taliban dynamited and destroyed them in March 2001 as part of a campaign to remove all non-Islamic art from Afghanistan.
The statues were among the most famous cultural landmarks of the region, and the site was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the surrounding cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.