International Symposium 10 Years after the Destruction of the Buddhas: The Present Situation and Future Vision for the World Heritage Site of Bamiyan.
The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo held an international symposium covering the Asian region in order to consider forms of Japanese cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage and the point of that cooperation. This year marks the 10th year since the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, so an international symposium was held to summarize the results of the project to preserve the Bamiyan Site, which Japan was involved in, and to further publicize such efforts. The symposium met twice, once on December 9th in Tokyo and then on December 11th in Kyoto. The Tokyo event was sponsored jointly by the Institute and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties while the Kyoto event was sponsored jointly by the Institute, the Nara National Research Institute, Ryukoku University’s Research Center for Buddhist Cultures in Asia, and Ryukoku Museum.
Previous discussion had focused on the issue of reconstructing the destroyed Buddha statues and caves carved out of the Bamiyan cliffs where the statues stood, but the issues of safeguarding ruins throughout the valley and protecting landscapes in response to recent development were raised. The symposium provided a significant opportunity for everyone to consider issues with safeguarding the Bamiyan site and Japan’s future international cooperation.