Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban which itself destroyed the historically and culturally significant ‘Buddhas of Bamiyan’, now want to make money from the empty niches as it is desperately in need of cash.
Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist of religions and author, wrote in his piece in Bitter Winter, how despite being an avid traveller he ended up rejecting the proposal to visit Afghanistan because he doesn’t want the Taliban to benefit from the sites destroyed by them. “The Afghan regime desperately needs cash. It cannot show the Bamiyan Buddhas for the good reason it blew them up. But it would take tourists to the site for a fee,” he stated.
According to the author, the Taliban smashed the sixth-century CE giant statues in 2001 with artillery fire and by detonating anti-tank mines.
Now, the public can only see the empty niches where these masterpieces of Buddhist sculpture once stood, and meditate there. But this not for free, but by paying money to the regime, Bitter Winter reported.
The author went on to say that he can even pay a fee to see the Nuremberg propaganda headquarters of the Nazi Party and the location of the Khmer Rouge mass graves in Cambodia, because, here the money is not going to Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot, but the subsequent current governments.
However, in the case of Afghanistan, it is the Taliban itself that perpetrated the crimes and are willing to reap money while being in the government.
According to the author, it would be like paying Chinese President Xi Jinping for visiting the dreaded Xinjiang “transformation through education camps” where Uyghurs are tortured and killed.
“I understand the empty niches of the destroyed statues do have their own melancholic beauty. But I do not want to support the Taliban with my ticket. I would rather not go,” Massimo Introvigne further stated in his piece.