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Buddhist Statues Destroyed by Taliban Belong to all Iranian Peoples and the Greater Khorâsân Civilisation


15 March 2002



TEHRAN -- Tajik Culture Minister Keramatullah Alemov said that the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan belonged to the great civilization of ancient Khorasan.


Speaking in a ceremony held to commemorate the first anniversary of the demolition of the statues by the Taleban militia who were supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, he said that the act was a cultural disaster.


He added that the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were the cultural and historical treasures of this mystical nation.


The Tajik minister also called on the Afghan interim government to take measures to reconstruct the statues, which were manifestations of the great history of the nation.


Iran's Cultural Attache in Tajikistan, Ali Mousavi Garmaroudi, also spoke at the ceremony. He expressed regret over the very sad cultural and historical disaster and said it indicated the idiocy of the Taleban. He also said that the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were historical and cultural monuments which were belonged and mentioned in Tajik, Afghan, and Iranian literature for centuries and were signs of these three common cultures.


The Afghan Cultural Attache in Tajikistan, Shams ul-Haq Arianfar, referred to the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and said that the Afghan nation should fight against ignorance in their newly liberated country.

He also expressed hope that with the help of Iranian and Tajik intellectuals, Afghanistan's cultural and historical values could be revitalized.


The ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan was sponsored by the Society of Tajik Writers and Poets. Iranian, Tajik and Afghan scholars attended the ceremony.

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