A very troubling story from Pakistan. On Monday, armed men attempted to damage this giant Buddha in the Swat valley in Pakistan. The BBC has a good report. The men arrived in the night, drilled holes in the rock, and filled them with dynamite. There was damage to the rock above the carving, but the actual carving was unharmed. The carving is considered the second-largest in Asia behind only the now-destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas.
I’m not sure how much can be done to protect sites in this part of the world. I know there is a UNESCO Convention on the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage, but that kind of multilateral treaty seems ill-equipped to prevent this kind of willful and senseless destruction.
(hat tip to David Nishimura at Cronaca)