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Afghanistan hurries to uncover, document ancient Buddhist city

By Jay Price, McClatchy Newspapers, March 23, 2013

A buried Buddhist city in Afghanistan is sitting atop an enormous copper deposit and a planned Chinese open-pit mine, the largest private investment in Afghan history. Archaeologists are racing to document and preserve the treasures before they’re lost forever.

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan -- It had the potential to be another Afghanistan Buddha disaster, recalling the Taliban’s destruction of two ancient statues that had stood for centuries in this country’s west: A buried Buddhist city lost to time was about to be obliterated by what promised to be one of the largest copper mines in the world.

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Afghanistan moves to salvage ancient Buddhist city – and its economy

By Jay Price, McClatchy Newspapers, March 12, 2013

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan -- It had the potential to be another Afghanistan Buddha disaster, recalling the Taliban’s destruction of two ancient statues that had stood for centuries in this country’s west: A buried Buddhist city lost to time was about to be obliterated by what promised to be one of the largest copper mines in the world.

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Kabul vows to preserve Buddhist site

The Nation November 24, 2012

Kabul, Afghanistan -- A historic Buddhist site in Afghanistan appears likely to be spared demolition to make way for a copper mine after the Thai Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday saying the Afghan government "would do whatever possible" to conserve the site and preserve artefacts obtained from it.

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Rescuing Afghanistan's Buddhist History

By ANN MARLOWE, Published on the Buddhist Channel, Sept 16, 2012 (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Kabul, Afghanistan -- Even as once-secure parts of Afghanistan succumb to criminality and the insurgency, and the Afghan financial system hovers on the brink of failure, there are small signs of hope here. A spectacular Buddhist archaeological site is now being excavated by the Afghan government's National Institute of Archaeology, near where Al Qaeda ran a training camp in the 1990s.

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Buddha statue from the ancient Gandhara civilisation covered up

AFP, Aug 12, 2012

BAMIYAN, AFGANISTAN -- "It's there," says an archaeologist pointing to the ground, where fragments of a Buddha statue from the ancient Gandhara civilisation have been covered up to stop them being stolen or vandalised.
Just months before the US-led invasion in 2001, the Taliban regime shocked the world by destroying two giant, 1,500-year-old Buddhas in the rocky Bamiyan valley, branding them un-Islamic.

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