At bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting by some

Pre-civil war days are a subject of whispered nostalgia in Bamiyan, when it wielded control over strategic mountain passes connecting trade routes from India, China and Persia and the local markets swarmed with stoned backpackers hopping overland on the so-called 'hippie trail'.

Trudging halfway up a jagged goat trail, guide Mohammad Ibrahim extolled the panoramic view: a vast, ancient landscape of russet-hued cliffs that is on the frontline of Afghan efforts to jump-start warzone tourism.

Bamyan province takes its name from Sanskrit word varmayana.

The team started work in the area five years ago, investigating ways to preserve Buddhist art in some 1,000 caves that had been ravaged over the years by the harsh natural environment, rampant looting, and the infamous explosions.

This was then painted so the statues had clear faces and hands, and the folds of cloth could be seen.

Later work on a painted crucifix from the ancient stave church at Hemse, on the island of Gotland, Sweden, dated to about 1180, showed evidence of drying oils being used on that as well.

Hashimi is reported as saying: It is believed that the monumental Buddha sculptures were carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan between the 3rd to 6th centuries AD, while the cave complex in the east, including the 38 meter Buddha, a stupa was built in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD The 55 meter Buddha is believed to date from the 5th and 6th centuries AD.

In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains.

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