Researchers Say They Can Restore 1 of Destroyed
Rebuilding the statue, however, would be an enormous task that might require transporting some 1,400 pieces to Germany or constructing a factory in Bamiyan, where the monuments were located.
Omar declared the statues idolatrous and un-Islamic because they depicted Buddha. However, scholars at the time pointed out that the Taliban’s decision to destroy the Bamiyan Buddhas had less to do with religion and more to do with punishing political opposition and striking back at the international community.
Despite worldwide condemnation of the plan, the Taliban used dynamite to dismantle the statues.
A decade after the destruction, Erwin Emmerling of Technical University Munich says he believes he can restore the smaller of the two statues using an organic silicon compound.
Time, however, may be running short. Smaller pieces of the statues are being stored in warehouses in Afghanistan, but larger chunks are being preserved in place. “[T]hat will only last for a few years, because the sandstone is very porous,” Emmerling said.
It’s unclear, however, how much the conservation and reconstruction would cost or how long the process would take. Emmerling has already visited the site 15 times over the past several years, according to The Associated Press.
A conference is set for next week in Paris to discuss what to do about the statues.
That the statues have survived as well as they have for as long as they have is a testament to their original construction.
“These have survived not only nearly 1,500 years of history, but even the explosion in some parts,” Emmerling said.