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Iconic Buddha in Swat Valley Restored After Nine Years

August 7, 2023

After nine years, the famously disfigured Buddha from the seventh century in Jahan Abad, Swat, finally had its face restored through a meticulous restoration technique carried out by Italian archaeologists.

The Taliban assaulted the largest rock sculpture in South Asia, a 7th-century Buddha figure seated in a meditative position, in September 2007. The Taliban blew out half of the statue’s face by cutting holes into its head and shoulders and introducing explosives.

Half of the statue’s face was damaged when the explosives in its face exploded, however the explosives in the statue’s shoulders did not go off.

Buddhists, historians, and archaeologists were all outraged and concerned over the desecration of the Buddha.

“Our professional and moral duty to Swat’s residents and to Pakistan’s cultural heritage compelled us to rebuild the Buddha. In order to finish its conservation programme from 2012 to 2016, it needed five missions of roughly one month each. 

“It was restored under the Archaeology Community Tourism (ACT) Field School project funded by the Italian government, a joint project of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Italian Archaeological Mission,” Olivieri continued.

Fabio Colombo, a restorer and member of the Italian Archaeological Mission who worked on-site in Bamyan, Afghanistan, and has extensive experience in the field of conservation, said he enjoyed the work at Jahan Abad because it was a very significant historical site where the locals also showed him love and respect.

Read More: What is Buddhism Theravada?

It is one of the largest rock carvings in the area, and other evidence suggests that it was formerly a key Buddhist site. The area around the Buddha statue is tranquil, scenic, and peaceful. Due to its significance in history, religion, and archaeology.

Read More: Modern World Discovered the Ancient Truths of Buddhism

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