Afghanistan’s Mes Aynak region, 20 miles from Kabul, is making headlines, and not because of insurgent violence.

Mes Aynak is garnering international press attention due to the probable destruction of a 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery complex discovered in the area. The ruins, believed by archaeologists to be supremely important to the religious and cultural history of the region, are under imminent threat because they lie directly above a copper mine that a Chinese mining company, China Metallurgical Group Corp (MGC), plans to excavate.

Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage at Risk – Again | Asia Society.

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Check out a very recent article in Smithsonian Magazine (on-line version here) which gives an excellent profile of Dr Zemaryalai Tarzi, President of the APAA.

Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan

“…Crenulated sandstone cliffs, honeycombed with man-made grottoes, loom above us. Two giant cavities about a half-mile apart in the rock face mark the sites where two huge sixth-century statues of the Buddha, destroyed a decade ago by the Taliban, stood for 1,500 years. At the base of the cliff lies the inner sanctum of a site Tarzi calls the Royal Monastery, an elaborate complex erected during the third century that contains corridors, esplanades and chambers where sacred objects were stored…”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Searching-for-Buddha-in-Afghanistan.html#ixzz16pmgI5gp

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