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Countries Divided on Future of Ancient Buddhas

Countries Divided on Future of Ancient Buddhas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Thirteen years after the Bamian Buddhas were blasted into rubble, opinion is split on whether to leave them as is, rebuild them, or make copies of them.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video and article work together to show a 'behind-the-scenes' glimpse of this heritage site, or the remnants of the old memorial which is an iconic part of the cultural landscape in their own right but for very different reasons.  This is a great example of sequent occupance and some of the difficulties in preserving heritage.  Some argue that by restoring the Buddha it will undo some of the damage done by the Taliban and create a tourist destination; others think that the damaged Buddha is a poignant reminder of problems with 'topocide' and religious intolerance. 


Questions to Ponder: What do you think should become of this place?  How come?    


Tags: Afghanistan, politicalculture, Central Asialandscape, perspective.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:27 PM

Camels are such a work-shipping animals, their support hundreds of weight from the people also take gallons of waters. If I ever visit Egypt I will make sure to ride one. Although, those are donkeys. Anyway good news, in my opinion it shouldn't be rebuilt. Leave history as it is. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 12:46 PM

Most people often forget that the Silk Road passed into Central Asia and the Middle East from East Asia.  This means that along the road, travelers often put things that reminded them of home.  The Buddha statues that once existed in Afghanistan are an example of this.  They were in fact labeled a world heritage site.  Sadly, the Buddhas had been ravaged throughout history by radical arabs.  This is because their religion frowns upon (actually forbids) idols, which they considered the statues to be.  Although they had been tempered with for many years, the Taliban finally decided to blow them up in 2001.  Now, there are differing opinions across various countries as to whether they should be rebuild or not.  Afghanistan believes that they should be rebuilt so the government can claim a symbolic victory over the Taliban.  Unesco wants a restoration done right, so for now it won't allow rebuilding to occur.  Germans tried to rebuild them, but Unesco blocked it from happening.  South Korea, Italy and Japan are all willing to donate money, but have no mention of the statues.  I believe that the statues should be rebuilt, as the article points out monuments were rebuilt in France after Protestants burnt down many old Gothic Cathedrals.  I also believe it is necessary because we cannot let the culture of hate that the Taliban believes in to win.  Average Muslims realize that the statues have historical significance and that they do not need to worship Buddha to respect that this site was 1,500 years old.  I also think it would send a strong message from the Afghan government if the statues were rebuilt because it would show they, like the article states, are not going to let the Taliban rule their country.

 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 7, 9:42 PM

I find it interesting that other countries are divided.  Why are they deciding the future for this country?  They can't seem to get out of their ways to come up with a real solution.  Its unfortunate.  

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