Destruction of Buddhist Sites in Afghanistan

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Mon Oct 29 09:17:48 UTC 2012

Dear friends,

I am forwarding to you the message that follows concerning the dangers to major Buddhist
archeological sites in Afghanistan. The petition mentioned now has almost 20,000 signatures,
an indication of the concern that the issue has begun to provoke. Following is
documentary film-maker Brent Huffman's message about this, after which I reproduce a
message from art historian Susan Huntington on the same issue:

Hello all,

I am writing you as you attended a screening of "The Buddhas of Mes
Aynak" at the South Asian Conference and requested more information.

Here is the official Facebook page for the film:

Here is a list of stories/press/interviews including my CNN opinion
story and live interview.

Here is our petition for Mes Aynak - we just surpassed 15,000 signatures!

Please feel free to share this information.
And thank you in advance for the support.

-Brent Huffman

"We must travel in the direction of our fear."   -John Berryman

Brent E. Huffman
Assistant Professor/Documentary Filmmaker
Medill School of Journalism
Northwestern University
Office: 847.491.7580

Dear Colleagues,

Many of you may have heard about the imminent destruction of Mes Aynak
and other important Buddhist sites in Afghanistan, which are scheduled
to be destroyed by large-scale copper mining projects in the near
future.  The archaeologists at the site have been given until December,
2012, to complete whatever work they can, and then Mes Aynak and the
extensive Buddhist materials in the region will be pulverized.

A recent film, "The Buddhas of Mes Aynak," has been made by Northwestern
University journalism professor, Brent Huffman, and he and others are
posting materials on Facebook and various websites, primarily seeking
signatures on a petition to at least delay the planned destruction.

Please see the links and do consider adding your names to the

Best wishes,

Susan L. Huntington
The Ohio State University
Department of History of Art

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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