Shining light on the past

The ancient sandstone carvings in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley were once the world's tallest Buddhas - but they were lost forever when the Taleban blew them up 20 years ago.

One made a poignant return on Tuesday night in the form of a 3D projection (right), glowing in the rocky alcove where the 56m-high statue used to stand, the BBC reported.

It capped a day of ceremony marking the destruction of the centuries-old figures in March 2001.

The statues had been carved from the cliff in the early sixth and seventh centuries, when Buddhism was the region's dominant religion.

"We do not want people to forget what a horrific crime was committed here," said the A Night With Buddha event's co-organiser Zahra Hussaini.

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