Oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting
Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs.
Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes.
Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction. Later, the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues.
Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.
The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music, and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.
In March 2001, the statues were destroyed by the Taliban of Mullah Omar following a decree issued by him.
He also noted that both Buddha figures were "decorated with gold and fine jewels" (Wriggins, 1995).
The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.
"They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam," said Jamal.
According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted.
Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating in the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997, even before he had taken control of the valley.
Once he was in control of Bamiyan in 1998, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas' heads for explosives.