The Bamiyan Buddhas, once the tallest in the world, were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Now they are back, in laser hologram form, and we can again appreciate these massive sculptures.

Using 3-D projection technology similar to what brought moonwalking Michael Jackson “back to life,” Janson Yu and Liyan Hu arranged the donation of a projector from the people of China. The system, costing over $120,000, debuted in front of a crowd of 150 earlier this month in central Afghanistan.

The Taliban considered the two 1500-year-old Buddhas to be idols and used artillery and explosives to turn the statues into rubble. The statues both stood well over 100 feet high and were carved out of the sandstone cliffs.

UNESCO has named the Buddhas a World Heritage Site but has not had success determining the future of the area.

More info: theatlantic | AJ+ | CCTV+ (h/t: beautifuldecay)

The artists calibrated the system as the sun went down

Image credit: youtube

“Crowds remained well into the night and some people played music while others looked on”


A laser show was proposed in 2005 by Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata


It took the Taliban weeks to destroy the statues


Chinese TV filmed the holograms’ unveiling

3D Buddhas could reinvigorate the area economy