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Buddha Sunrise

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In March of 2001, the iconoclastic Taliban regime destroyed the 1500-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan, the two largest statues of the Buddha ever created.

On September 11th, the twin towers of the World Trade Center were brought down in New York City by terrorist attacks.

And yet, the pair of giants — both pairs, and all that they (and their destruction) both represented — continue to live on in memory, and certainly now for all eternity.

Note: The Buddhas, as shown in the above artwork, are in proportion to each other in height, just as they were in Afghanistan before they were destroyed by the Taliban (the taller Buddha was 53 metres high, and the shorter one 38 metres). For this piece, I made the height of the taller Buddha's shoulder roughly equivalent to the height of the WTC buildings, with the top of his head inadvertently about as high as the transmission tower which was atop the north WTC tower.

The original photo (reduced) of the New York City skyline by Ria Koster, taken two weeks before the September 11th tragedy (used with permission)...

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The original high-resolution photos (reduced) of the Bamiyan Buddhas prior to their destruction, taken by Bryn Jones of the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and Fabio Remondino of the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, Zurich (with many thanks for their permission and kind assistance)...

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For more information, see The Buddhas of Bamiyan, which features information on the history and significance of the statues, photos documenting their destruction by the Taliban, plus 3-dimensional, computer-generated reconstructions. For additional information, see also The Buddhas of Bamiyan: Challenged Witnesses of Afghanistan's Forgotten Past.

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