Italian experts conducted the conservation and restoration process using 3-D technology.
FAZAL KHALIQ — PUBLISHED a day ago
The iconic seventh-century defaced Buddha at Jahan Abad, Swat, at last, got its face back after a nine-year-long wait following a scientific restoration process conducted by Italian archaeologists.
The 7th century Buddha seated in a meditative posture which is considered one of the largest rock sculptures in South Asia was attacked in September 2007 by the Taliban, who blew up half the statue’s face by drilling holes into the face and shoulders and inserting explosives.
The explosives in the face, when detonated, destroyed half its face, but the explosives in the statue’s shoulders failed to detonate.
The defacement of the Buddha sparked worldwide anger and concern among the Buddhist community, historians and archaeologists.
The Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan were able to restore the statue to its original form after six scientific missions.
“It was our professional and moral obligation toward the people and heritage of Swat and Pakistan which forced us to restore the Buddha. It took about five missions of about a month each from 2012-2016 in its complete conservation program,” said head of the Italian Archaeological Mission, Dr Luca Maria Olivieri, adding that international experts worked on the restoration process.
“Two restorers/trainers, two 3D scan experts/trainers, one chief restorer, five local restorers, 20 field workers, two carpenters, and three watch-keepers were involved in the restoration process, while the 3D equipment was provided all-inclusive by the University of Padua, Italy,” he said
“It was restored under the Archaeology Community Tourism (ACT) Field School project funded by Italian government, a joint project of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Italian Archaeological Mission,” Olivieri added.
Fabio Colombo, a restorer and member of the Italian Archaeological Mission who has vast experience in the field of conservation and who worked on-site in Bamyan, Afghanistan, said that he enjoyed the work at Jahan Abad as it was a very important historical site where the locals also gave him love and respect. Continue reading