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Entangled Histories: The Bamiyan Buddhas—Past, Present, and Future
This is a virtual event, open to everyone. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Taliban destroyed the sculptures—as Buddhas. Now that the Taliban has again taken power, the question is: what is Bamiyan’s future?
Western scholarship has focused on the monumental sculptures in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley as Buddhas created in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. This lecture tells an alternative story based on Islamic sources from the tenth to the twentieth century, which saw these sculptures not as Buddhas but as legendary heroes representing the mythic conversion of the Bamiyan Valley to Islam. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Taliban destroyed the sculptures—as Buddhas.View more
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