'I Feel A Great, Personal Loss'
March 9, 2001 1:51 PM   Subscribe

'I Feel A Great, Personal Loss' Conservationist Rakhaldas Sengupta spent nine years restoring the world's tallest Buddha statues...
This has been covered by MeFi before but Sengupta has a perspective on the statues that hasn't come to light yet. To think that the Taleban is destroying these 1700 year old statues breaks my heart. I hope I never understand the reasoning of religious zealots.
posted by gen (8 comments total)
I hope that Taleban is an organization dedicated to outlawing fishing stories ("once I caught one this big"). Sign me up! :D
posted by OneBallJay at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2001

Every new ruler attempts to erase the policies, art and culture of those that they overthrew/supplanted from the collective memory of the ruled. The Soviets did it to the czarists, and the New Russia is doing it to Soviet art and culture. I could insert something snarky about GWB and changes in policy here, but I won't. It's all Sad As Hell, but not really that surprising.
posted by GriffX at 2:26 PM on March 9, 2001

Though I think only wedding pictures should be destroyed under a new regime or marriage, I am in partial defense of the Taliban. Somneday you might become an extremist and then you will want others not to badmouth you on the Internet or in print. Walk a mile in Taliban sandals Nikes?)
posted by Postroad at 3:52 PM on March 9, 2001

Anybody else getting the impression that Postroad had a less than perfect marriage at one time?
posted by thirteen at 9:09 PM on March 9, 2001

> Every new ruler attempts to erase the policies, art
> and culture of those that they overthrew

No. Conquerors may take art down from special places of public veneration if they are afraid it will get in the way of ruling the country, but they usually don't destroy great works of art. The Soviets did not burn art museums, they preserved them and (through purchase, exchange, and theft) expanded them. It takes cretinous religiosity to set about destroying art in the name of righteousness.

If there were a god, these statues would fall on the Taleban leaders come to gloat over their evil work.

posted by pracowity at 5:40 AM on March 10, 2001

The construction of the Bamiyan Buddhas was perfect: even from a distance one always felt as if they beckoned people to strive towards doing good and become perfect human beings. Now there is nothing left.

Hmm...as stomach-churning as the whole incident is, perhaps the Taliban should at least be acknowledged for updating this sybol for a modern sensibility...
posted by rushmc at 7:59 AM on March 10, 2001

er, symbol, even.
posted by rushmc at 8:16 AM on March 10, 2001

Thirteen: yes, I have caught extremely subtle hints of that.
posted by rodii at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2001

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