Afghans commemorated the two decades since the Taliban destroyed the two giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan province, with a pledge to preserve the world’s cultural heritages.
“Although the Taliban dynamited the two statues, the monuments are still popular as many people annually get together in Bamiyan to commemorate the giant Buddhas in ceremonies where the speakers express their anger over vandalising the world’s cultural heritages,” provincial governor Sayed Anwar Rahmati told Xinhua news agency.
Reportedly built in the sixth century, the destruction of the 55-metre-tall and 38-metre-tall statues by the Taliban militants in March 2001 has been condemned globally.
Rahmati pledged that his provincial administration is committed to preserving and repairing all the historical monuments and cultural heritages in Bamiyan province with the support of national and international agencies.
To pay tribute to the destroyed Buddhas and denounce the destroyers, hundreds of people including boys and girls held a lantern-lit procession, which led to the front of destroyed Buddhas cliff on Tuesday evening.
The participants at the procession also arranged a 3D projector to return the destroyed Buddha to the spectators and those gathered to denounce the monuments’ destruction.
Expressing dismay over the demolition, the participants called upon the Taliban to preserve cultural heritages, besides urging the government and world community to help rebuild the destroyed Buddhas.
In a statement on Thursday, Ernesto Ottone R., the Unesco’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, said: “As we mark 20 years since the destruction in Bamiyan, we at Unesco reiterate our support to the Afghan people and reinforce our commitment to stand together with people everywhere to safeguard cultural heritage as an embodiment of our common humanity.”