topic: bigotry

the empty buddhas

I was watching a TV program about Afghanistan where the presenter went to look upon the empty niche in Bamiyan that had once held a 55m high buddha carved from the sandstone cliff. This and other colossi were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001 because they considered them idols prohibited by the Koran. Being someone who has a profound reverence for history, I found this act of vandalism appalling. There is serious talk about rebuilding […]

Ming vases…

Wen Zhengming painting

Even in childhood I was baffled as to why oil paintings sold in auction houses for countless millions, while equally exquisite works of art from other cultures seemed lucky if they fetched thousands. One exception is the ubiquitous ‘Ming vase’… examples of which appear in everything from Tin Tin to baroque palaces across Europe. Another are ancient artefacts, though these again seem to be valued less for their aesthetic qualities than for how close they […]