The giant stone Buddhas at Bamiyan were the tallest in the world at 55 and 38 meters (180 and 125 feet) in height. From their cliffside alcove, they watched a millennium and a half pass in Afghanistan, resisting the degenerative influence of time and the introduction of Islam, until religious fanaticism in the form of the Taliban and a great deal of explosives finally brought them down.
Their loss was a cultural and artistic tragedy, but this week the Buddhas were reborn through the magic of 3-D projection mapping and the efforts of a civilian Chinese couple.
Janson Yu and Liyan Hu are currently traveling around the world making a documentary. They recalled being profoundly saddened by the destruction of the statues in 2001 and decided to make Bamiyan a stop on their journey. They applied for and received permission from both the Afghan government and UNESCO to recreate the fallen Buddhas in light.