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History & Civilizations

Images and men, Bamiyan 20 years later

50 min visit

Guimet Museum
19 May → 18 Oct 2021
From Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed Tuesday.

« This is a fine exhibition that also raises the question of the symbolism of the disappearance of the traces of a civilisation! »

We were all horrified and shocked when we first saw on TV the destruction of the two largest Buddhas in the world, 38 and 55 metres high, carved in the Bamiyan cliffs, claimed by the Taliban. Few of us knew, and perhaps still do not know, where they were carved. But this act of destruction has touched all peoples, all religions! Works of universal value, witnesses to the extraordinary vitality of Buddhist art in this valley, situated on the Silk Road and open to all influences, Indian, Greek, Roman... It was March 11, 2001, and the Taliban had taken power in Afghanistan. 20 years later, the Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet has chosen to commemorate the destruction of the Bamiyan site through an exhibition presenting major archaeological works found on this Afghan cliff. Photographs by the french artist Pascal Convert shed light on the richness of this heritage in a contemporary way. The exhibition pays tribute to Joseph and Ria Hackin, Bamiyan archaeologists and curators of the museum, who passed away 80 years ago. The MNAAG will present a series of unique archaeological works found in this Afghan cliff, from the Gandhara to the Islamic period. Two monumental Buddha hands with remnants of gold leaf will be on display. All the works will be installed on the first floor of the museum, in the Sino-Tibetan room set up for the occasion.


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