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"Japanese, German experts to restore Bamiyan heritage"

Japanese, German experts to restore Bamiyan heritage
trefwoorden: Japans - Duits - Afghanistan - Bamiyan
A team of Japanese and German experts will enter Afghanistan in July on a mission to preserve and restore cultural artifacts in Bamiyan.
Among the artifacts are the ancient statues of Buddha that were blasted apart by the Taliban in March 2001.
The preservation and restoration mission is expected to last for as long as a decade, according to a Japanese scholar, and could lead to the discovery of a giant reclining Buddha statue that has long been rumored to exist somewhere in the mountainous region.
In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed two towering sandstone statues of Buddha that had been carved into the mountainside in Bamiyan, ignoring worldwide criticism by Muslims, Buddhists and art experts. The two statues were 55 meters and 38 meters tall and appear in "A Record of Western Regions," a book penned in the seventh century by a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India, the birthplace of Buddhism.
About 80 percent of the Buddhist murals at the site were also destroyed in the blasts.
The government will provide about 214.3 million yen, toward the initial phase of the project, which will be managed by UNESCO.
The team of Japanese and German experts will enter Bamiyan next month after the Japanese and Afghan governments sign an agreement on the project Monday.
During the initial phase, the team will work for three years on studying and preserving the murals and the recess that housed the 38-meter high statue, which is on the verge of collapse because of severe cracking.
The team will also look into the possibility of restoring and replicating the damaged and destroyed murals, which are believed to have significantly influenced an ancient Japanese mural in Horyuji temple in Nara Prefecture.
The team will support the fragile cliff recess with steel scaffolding and other means for the time being as countries and experts around the world are still divided over whether the statues should be reconstructed.
Although Japanese and French archeological teams have conducted research at the Bamiyan site to unearth the giant reclining Buddha, none have so far succeeded in discovering such a statue.
bron: Daily Yomiuri, 2 juni 2003