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Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum – film screening: “The Buddhas of Mes Aynak”
May 14, 2013 - 16:15-18:00
Mes Aynak (meaning “little copper well”), a desert region 25 kilometers
southeast of Kabul, is an enormous archaeological treasure trove 400,000
square feet in size. An ancient Buddhist monastery complex, extensive
wall frescos, massive devotional temples, and more than 200 life-sized
Buddha statues comprise a discovery of immense global importance. At the
same time, Mes Aynak is home to the largest undeveloped copper reserve
in the world. Directly beneath the Buddhist site lie mineral deposits
worth an estimated $100 billion. The fate of the ancient Buddhist
artifacts hangs in the balance as the Chinese begin planning their
destructive open-pit style copper mine.
Under immense international pressure, in early 2009 the Chinese company
gave archaeologists three years to excavate and move the artifacts
before the copper mine gets underway. But with extremely limited
resources, the dedicated archaeologists have made little progress. “We
have only discovered the tip of the iceberg, a mere 10% of the site,”
says French specialist Philippe Marquis, who believes this could easily
be a thirty-year excavation project. The deadline was originally
December 2012, but excavations are still going on. A probable deadline
is later this year.
Filmmaker Brent E. Huffman is a documentary filmmaker and assistant
professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
He started this project in 2011 and the film is currently in
post-processing. But since it is important to spread this message the
film is already being screened in universities world wide. We are very
delighted to be able to show it at the University of Oslo.
The movie will be introduced by professor of religious studies Jens
Braarvig from the University of Oslo. He is a world-renowned expert on
early Afghan and Gandhari Buddhism and has worked extensively on
Buddhist manuscripts from this region.
Venue: Sophos Bugges Hus, Auditorium 2, University of Oslo
A new trailer and comment from the International Herald Tribune:
A PDF about recent discoveries form Mes Aynak published by the National
Museum in Kabul.
More information on the case:
link for the facebook event: