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Entangled Histories: The Bamiyan Buddhas—Past, Present, and Future

Presented by Harvard Art Museums at Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA

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Sep 22 2021
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.

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Contact: 6174959400

Email: john_connolly@harvard.edu

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Harvard Art Museums

32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

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