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Last March, despite pleas from the United Nations and the stern disapproval of other Islamic governments, Afghanistan’s Taliban destroyed the great Buddhas of Bamiyan with artillery. This photo looks north over the Bamiyan valley to the largest (170 feet high) of the Buddhas. At the eastern end of valley, a 120-foot-high Buddha once stood. These immense sculptures were carved out of the Gandharan cliff side in the sixth century A.D. to suggest the immensity of the Buddha’s spirit.