Don't rebuild

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The Independent Online

The destruction of the giant statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan three years ago ranks among the most barbaric of the Taliban's many crimes. This was the wanton annihilation of a treasure that belonged not only to Afghanistan but to the world. Yet initiatives to rebuild the statues, however well-intentioned, are misguided. In this instance, what has been destroyed should not be reconstituted - not in concrete, not in polystyrene, not even in rock. The statues will be preserved in photographs, in art and in memory. Their destruction should be left to stand as its own monument - to the Taliban and the atrocities it committed.

The destruction of the giant statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan three years ago ranks among the most barbaric of the Taliban's many crimes. This was the wanton annihilation of a treasure that belonged not only to Afghanistan but to the world. Yet initiatives to rebuild the statues, however well-intentioned, are misguided. In this instance, what has been destroyed should not be reconstituted - not in concrete, not in polystyrene, not even in rock. The statues will be preserved in photographs, in art and in memory. Their destruction should be left to stand as its own monument - to the Taliban and the atrocities it committed.

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