OUR COLUMNIST SCULPTURESTEPH SAYS:
‘There are many considerations, meanings, symbolism, values inherent to the sculptures location, context, working practices, styles, alterations, care, and eventually their absence.
Which of these, are to be communicated requires a discussion, which the responsible body for the preservation and conservation of World Cultural Heritage (and that definition means its important not only to the local community, or an ‘experts’ opinion- but has a significance to our World Heritage, ie. all of us) should have facilitated…better?
The argument of …’as for the decision not to recreate the Buddhas, it can be seen as the wheel of history turning full circle’, is a lame reason, or another excuse to not deal with the discussion at all.
It conveniently leaves out the significance of the act of vandalism on a World Heritage Site as a statement of disregard for universally held ethics and all the associated practices of their application to practice and more importantly why these are so important (which for Andrea Bruno as an architectural consultant to UNESCO should have be at least a part for his motivation for contributing his expertise: to protect and safe guard these ethics and their practices).
And of course is ‘the void the true sculpture’, as the action of creating that void was motivated to become a monument to the Taliban’s Terrorist agenda irreversibly altering (destroyed) it’s original physical manifestation.
I may even say you could see this as a symbolic act of ideology (thinking-intangible) being valued over or doing away with humanity (Art), making the statement of ‘ideology being above all else’ (including morals and ethics), the consequences of such a scenario make it a very threatening message indeed..
If you put this expression of terrorist ideology by a dozen individuals, carried out in an hour? 20 minutes? two days? into the context of these sculptures 1500 year existence, and all the individuals involved in their creation, maintenance, care, upkeep, visited for contemplation, appreciation, inspiration, etc… the narrative for the wiping out of all others – I do not think deserves precedence over all else, so it be preserved as it’s ‘final condition’, containing the message of ‘resigning ourselves to ideological/ religious acts of vandalism’ to future generations.
What inspiration will a monument to bullying encourage?’