(Image credit: UNESCO/A Lezine and Liberal Freemason)
The largest Buddha statues in the world stood against the cliffs of the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan for centuries. Then in March of 2001, the Taliban dynamited the ancient artifacts. The holes in the cliffs that the statues were carved from remain, and in 2003, the Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Buddhas cannot be rebuilt, but a couple of Chinese artists, Janson Yu and Liyan Hu, designed a system to project holograms of the statues into the holes where they once stood. The first projection took place on June 7.
The couple is currently filming a documentary and traveling around the world, but to them Bamiyan was a priority. With the government and UNESCO’s permission, the couple hoisted their projector onto scaffolding and screened images of the gargantuan Buddhas in their original homes. According to NDTV, the projector, which the couple said was valued at $120,000, was gifted to the Afghan government following the display.