Ba Gagan Colossal Buddhas Analysis

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Redone Response to The Destruction of the Bamiyan Colossal Buddhas by Finbar Flood

Boris Pasternak once said “Salvation lies not in the faithfulness to forms, but in the liberation from them (Goodreads).” Pasternak like many other iconoclasts throughout time believe that the use of icons debases a religion by mimicking God’s power of creation and therefore would more fitting removed from society. One such case of expunged religious artwork would be the Bamiyan Colossal Buddhas. Often people who know of the Bamiyan Buddhas are keenly aware of the role the Taliban played in their final destruction. What people don’t realize is that the complete elimination of sacred pieces is not a common practice in iconoclasm. Rather as Finbar Barry Flood points out in his article, common iconoclasm leaves remnants of the
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Images of significantly important religious figures often had their faces crudely rubbed out, or marked over. Although some iconoclasts choose to craftily paint over the faces with flowers and other symbols as to not fully ruin the works. Like Khan’s act, whether done skillfully or not, the works were never fully destroyed. To refer this ideology back to flood’s writing one can ascertain that flood is advocating to readers that while Iconoclasm does significant damage to original pieces, the work of the Taliban far exceeds common iconoclastic customs. Rather regular Iconoclasm wasn’t the complete ruin of works but a means to subdue their impact in an area whose religion debases humanized figures. It is truly unfortunate that the Taliban destroyed the Buddha’s in a televised means of defiance but I feel it’s safe to say this lacks the true traits of iconoclasm and is more akin to terrorism than anything else. My hope is that no more significant statues follow this fate and with peoples awareness on the topic it bodes a good fate for the
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