Copyright 2005

[ August 10th 2005 ]

A Japanese archaeologist plans to recreate two 1,600-year-old Buddha statues lining Bamiyan Valley's soaring cliffs by projecting multicoloured laser images onto the clay cliff-sides where the figures once stood, Associated Press reports today.

The original fifth-century statues were destroyed by the former Taliban regime using dynamite and artillery. The fundamentalist group considered the Buddhas idolatrous and anti-Muslim.

"I'm doing a fine art piece. That's my purpose - not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a political statement," said the 58-year-old artist, whose other laser works include a recent display at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Against a canvas of desert darkness, 14 laser systems will project 140 overlapping faceless "statues" sweeping four miles across Bamiyan's cliffs in neon shades of green, pink, orange, white and blue. Each image will continuously change colour and pattern, AP reports.

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