|The first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha were Gandhara art (Boonlieng)|
|Priceless Buddhist treasures were intercepted while being smuggled out of Pakistan, part of Pashtun Afghanistan, in the region of ancient Gandhara, India (BigStory.AP org)|
|Kashmir on the Pakistan side (Vivek Aryan)|
|Museum Maitreya Buddha|
This statue, priceless in terms of historical significance, has for a long time had a crack on the left arm. Investigations by this paper [dawn.com], upon receiving a tip-off, have confirmed an unbelievable story:
Back in April, 2012, the crack widened while being cleaned and the statue was given over to the museum laboratory’s tender ministrations. But instead of the scientific, delicate, and professional handling that an artifact of this stature demands, an attempt was made to fix it by applying the common adhesive epoxy, which remains [shockingly] evident on the statue’s surface and has caused irreparable harm.
|Where in the world is Pakistan? It only came into existence in 1947 after the colonial British Partition of India. Along with Afghanistan, it was formerly Gandhara, India. Then the U.S. started meddling; now we bomb it secretly.|
|One of the priceless Afghan treasures of Mes Aynak|
What can be made of this but the utter disregard Pakistanis tend to show towards history and culture? This is hardly the only example of this mindset. It turns out that 2012 was an inauspicious year for Gandhara-era [Buddhist] artifacts. That summer, the police intercepted a large consignment of such relics that had apparently been about to be smuggled out of the country [see photo of looted Buddhist art above].
|Gandhara is full of earliest Buddhist treasures|
|Afghan Buddhist monastery statue 700 AD (Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara)|
|First Buddhas, Gandhara|
|Future Buddha Maitreya, Gandhara-style, Greco-Indian Buddhist fusion art of Afghanistan, Pakistan, ancient India, San Francisco Asian Art Museum (Boonlieng/flickr.com)|
Ancient Greece (in India and Persia)
|Kushan Maitreya, Greco-India|
When Buddhism expanded in Central Asia from the 1st century AD, Bactria saw the results of the Greco-Buddhist syncretism arrive on its territory from India, and a new blend of sculptural representation remained until the Islamic invasions.
The most striking of these realizations are the Buddhas of Bamiyan. They tend to vary between the 5th and the 9th century AD. Their style is strongly inspired by Hellenistic culture. More
Dr. Ranajit Pal) and "India" (the Kingdom of Magadha to be specific as there was no unified India at that time), where the Buddha had traveled to establish the Teaching and the first monastic Community, which was soon augmented by many Shakyan princes and princesses, relatives of the Buddha from the area of Gandhara, Afghanistan, Indo-Pakistan, Taxila (Takkashila), Indo-Iran, and lands (the modern "stans") likely under the influence of the capital of Kapilavastu, the Buddha's hometown, the kingdom he would have inherited somewhere between modern Bamiyan and Kabul, once a fabulously rich and cosmopolitan crossroads on the Silk Route.]
- BUST: The original representation of the Buddha in gray schist, currently dated to 2nd-3rd century CE showing Hellenistic influences characteristic of the Gandhara art of Afghanistan and Northwest Pakistan (British Museum/Britannica.com)
|Maitreya in USA (Boonlieng)|
Buddhist missionaries travelling on the Silk Road introduced this art, along with Buddhism itself, into Serindia, where it mixed with Chinese and Persian influences.
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