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The Buddhas of Bamyan were two monumental statues carved into the side of a cliff in Bamyan Valley, central Afghanistan, during the 6th century. Though constructed directly from the sandstone itself, sculptors fashioned some of the more intricate details out of mud, straw, and carefully coated stucco. At 115 and 174 feet tall, they both stood as towering tributes to Buddha.
In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed both statues, reducing centuries of history and ancient expression—both artistic and religious—to rubble.