Mar 2 2009

From the Afghan archives…

Profound regret that I couldn’t toddle off to this exhibit. Thank you BBC for the lovely slideshow!

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Jul 27 2008

The world’s oldest oil paintings

When the Buddhas of Bamiyan were carved out of the mountainside, the Roman Empire still held sway.

They towered over a rich valley in what is now central Afghanistan, where caravans of traders would stop and rest on the Silk Road as they transported goods between east and west.For centuries the two huge statues stood guard over Bamiyan. But in 2001, just months before they were forced from power, the Taleban dynamited what they considered un-Islamic representations of the human form.

Today all that remains are the recesses where they stood, and the labyrinth of fragile caves surrounding them…

Inside those caves the steep, narrow steps are crumbling, there are cracks in the mud tunnels carved into the mountainside, and still visible high in the echoing chambers are pieces of Buddhist iconic art which are now thought to be the oldest oil paintings in the world.

Read the full article here. (Don’t miss the video at the beginning!)

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