The Future of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues: Heritage Reconstruction in Theory and Practice

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Masanori Nagaoka
Springer Nature, Dec 7, 2020 - Social Science - 364 pages
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This Open Access book explores heritage conservation ethics of post conflict and provides an important historical record of the possible reconstruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues, which was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in Danger in 2003 as “Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley”. With the condition that most surface of the original fragments of the Buddha statues were lost due to acts of deliberate destruction, this publication explores a reference point for conservation practitioners and policy makers around the world as they consider how to respond to on-going acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

Whilst there has been an emerging debate to the ethics and nature of heritage reconstruction, this volume provides a plethora of ideas and approaches concerning the future treatment of the Bamiyan Buddha statues. It also addresses a number of fundamental questions on potential heritage reconstruction: how it will be done; who will decide; and what it should be done for. Moreover when it comes to the inscribed World Heritage properties, how can reconstructed heritage using non-original materials be considered to retain authenticity?

With a view to serving as a precedent for potential decisions taken elsewhere in the world for cultural properties impacted by acts of violence and destruction, this volume introduces academic researches, experiences and observations of heritage conservation theory and practice of heritage reconstruction. It also addresses the issue not merely from the point of a material conservation philosophy but within the context of holistic strategies for the protection of human rights and promotion of peace building.


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The Future of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues Evolving Conservation Ethics and Principles concerning Intentionally Destructed Cultural Heritage
Part II An Overall Review of the Emergency Interventions at the Bamiyan World Heritage Property Implemented from 2003 to 2017
Safeguarding the Buddha Statues in Bamiyan and the Sustainable Protection of Afghan Cultural Heritage
Safeguarding and Preservation Activities at the Giant Buddhas and Other Monuments in the Bamiyan Valley 20042017
Cultural Identity and the Revival of Values After the Demolishment of Bamiyans Buddhist Wall Paintings
The Cultural Master Plan of Bamiyan The Sustainability Dilemma of Protection and Progress
Part III Deliberate Destruction of Heritage and Its Recovery
World Heritage and Reconstruction An Overview and Lessons Learnt for the Bamiyan Valley
The Roles of the Locals and the Possible Reconstruction of the Destroyed Buddha Statues in the Bamiyan Valley Afghanisatan
Learning from Ground Zero The Presence of Absence at Two Sites of Destruction
Part V Future Treatment of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues
Reflections on the Case of Bamiyan
Entangled Narrative Biographies of the Colossal Sculptures of Bāmiyān Heroes of the Mythic History of the Conversion to Islam
Could the Giant Buddha Statues of Bamiyan Be Considered as a Case of Exceptional Circumstances for Reconstruction?
Emptiness and Authenticity at Bamiyan
Part VI Technical Intervention Proposals for the Reconstruction of Bamiyan Buddha Statue

Palmyra From War and Destruction to Rehabilitation
Role of the Traditional Masonry Corporation in the Process of Reconstruction of the Destroyed Mausolees in Timbuktu Mali
Jewish Attitudes to the Reconstruction of Synagogues in post World War II Europe
Part IV Heritage Reconstruction in Theory
Destruction and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage as FutureMaking
The Renaissance of Bamiyan Afghanistan and Some Proposals for the Revitalisation of the Bamiyan Valley
Physical Revitalization of the Eastern Buddha Statue in Bamiyan Using Reinforced Adobe Material
Technical Proposal for Revitalizing the Eastern Buddha Statue in Bamiyan

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About the author (2020)

Dr. Masanori Nagaoka currently works at the UNESCO Phnom Penh Office as Culture Specialist. He has been working in the Culture sector of UNESCO for 17 years at both headquarters (UNESCO World Heritage Centre) and field offices (Jakarta cluster office and Kabul office). Having implemented a number of projects and activities including in Afghanistan, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Indonesia and so forth, he has managed projects and programmes in all fields of UNESCO Culture sector, which includes safeguarding of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, promotion of cultural diversity and tourism, culture policies for sustainable development, museums management and promotion of UNESCO normative instruments. He holds a PhD in Heritage Studies from Tsukuba University in Japan and received a Master Degree in Archaeology and Art History from Columbia University in New York, USA. He published a number of scientific peer-reviewed papers by Routledge, Springer, Emerald, ICOMOS and so forth.

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