Bamiyan Afghanistan Laser Project


Remember back to 2001, when the United Nations pleaded with the Taliban? Not to restore the rights of women in Afghanistan, but to stop their planned (and eventual) destruction of the massive 16 centuries old Buddha statues carved into the cliffs above Bamiyan. The Taliban were even offered money to let them be. Apparently they were an affront to Islam, although according to a BBC report the local Taliban refused orders to blow them up, so others were brought in, including Chechen explosive experts. Boom! The 53 m (175’) and 36 m (120’) cultural icons were gone. Now Japanese artist, Hiro Yamagata, has the blessing of Afghani government to install a series of laser lights to return the Buddhas. Confirmed earlier this month, he will arrange the construction of a series of windmills and solar arrays which will power the lasers for two hours after sunset, four nights a week. The renewable energy facilities will also provide lighting to the Bamiya villagers. I think this is what they refer to, in those high flatulent business seminars, as a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal). If all goes to plan, the Buddhas will be back in their valley by June 2007. Via Lope’s Art Gallery of Renewable Energy (but more on that tomorrow.)::Bamiyan Laser Project