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The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected." The Taliban's intention to destroy the statues, declared on February 27, 2001, caused a wave of international horror and protest.
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.
It is believed that the monumental Buddha sculptures were carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan between the 3rd to 6th centuries CE, while the cave complex in the east, including the 38 meter Buddha, was built in the 3rd or 4th centuries CE.
Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating around the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas even before taking the valley.Bamyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamyan Valley.The Silk Road has been historically a caravan route linking the markets of China with those of the Western world.He also noted that both Buddha figures were "decorated with gold and fine jewels" (Wriggins, 1995).Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.
Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes.