Taliban say they will preserve Bamiyan's Buddha niches
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The Taliban have said that they will preserve the empty niches of the two giant Buddhas in Bamiyan, reported local media.
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues - locally known as Salsal and Shamama - that were carved into the side of a cliff in Bamiyan. The Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, according to Ariana News.
The Taliban said the move had a specific purpose, noting that now the niches of Buddhas would be safeguarded, aimed at promoting the tourism sector of the country.
"As an Islamic Emirate's official in Bamiyan, I am trying my best to preserve these priceless and historical monuments of our province," Ariana News quoted head of Bamiyan's Information and Culture Directorate, Mawlawi Saif-ul-Rahman Mohammadi, as saying.
Another Taliban member claimed that they destroyed the Buddhas based on religious ideology in 2001.
"The Islamic Emirate did not make a hasty decision at that time , it was reviewed and researched based on Islamic laws and then they destroyed them," he said, according to Ariana News.
Earlier the Taliban had said that nearly 40 per cent of historical sites in Afghanistan's Herat province are in urgent need to be restored to prevent further damages.
"40 percent of our historical monuments are in urgent need of restoration and preservation. But, so far, unfortunately, the country's economy is not stable," Director for Herat's Information and Culture Department, Zalmay Safa said.
Safa further emphasised that the concerns will be considered once the issues of governance are resolved.
Herat Province has nearly 780 historical monuments including the famous Citadel, the Musalla complex, the Mausoleum of Gawhar Shad, and the Herat Great Mosque, reported Ariana News.