The larger statue was a carmine red and the smaller one was multi-colored. It is thought that while the main bodies of the statues were made of sandstone, the faces had been a great wooden mask, as in photographs holes can be seen where pegs would have fit.In March 2001, on orders from the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the two statues were dynamited and destroyed.
The Afghan Foreign Minister said that it was about Islamic religious iconoclasm; the destruction has been held up as an example of the intolerance that the Taliban has for other religions.
Many countries have pledged their support for getting the statues rebuilt.
In the Bamyan Valley of central Afghanistan, two statues stood 35 and 53 meters tall.
They were depictions of Buddha carved into the side of the cliff at different times – between 544 and 595 for the smaller statue, and between 591 and 644 for the larger one.
They had been carved directly into the sandstone cliffs and details were added with stucco.
This was then painted so the statues had clear faces and hands, and the folds of cloth could be seen.
D., predate the origins of similar sophisticated painting techniques in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean by more than a hundred years.
The discovery may also provide insights into cultural exchange along the Silk Road connecting east and west Asia during that time period.
Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.
Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley.
This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands, and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.