Oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting whos dating taylor lautner
They were intentionally dynamited and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were “idols” (which are forbidden under Sharia law).
The rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs which served to stabilize the outer stucco.
Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamyan cliffs.
Many of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly-colored frescoes. They were perhaps the most famous cultural landmarks of the region, and the site was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the surrounding cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamyan Valley.
The two most prominent statues were the giant standing Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed, measuring 55 and 37 metres (180 and 121 feet) high respectively, the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world. The smaller of the statues was built in 507, the larger in 554.
They are believed to have been built by the Kushans, with the guidance of local Buddhist monks, at the heyday of their empire.
The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.