Encore un bouddha détruit

NEW YORK – En 2001, les téléspectateurs du monde entier assistaient avec effroi à la destruction de statues bouddhistes monumentales à Bamiyan (Afghanistan) par les talibans. Les dirigeants politiques et culturels ont condamné ces attaques, et les propositions d’aide ont afflué. Nous nous sommes tous demandé si le monde pourrait parer à l’éventualité d’un nouveau désastre de ce type. Hélas, la réponse est un « non » retentissant.

Dans la vallée de Swat, au nord ouest du Pakistan, des militants islamistes armés ont récemment pris d’assaut l’une des plus anciennes et des plus importantes sculptures de l’art bouddhiste. Datant environ du début de l’ère chrétienne et sculptée dans un rocher de 40 mètres de haut, cette représentation assise de Bouddha était la deuxième par ordre d’importance en Asie du Sud Est après celles de Bamiyan.

Qui plus est, cette attaque était la deuxième en moins d’un mois. Murtaza Razvi, du journal pakistanais Dawn, a fait observer que la sculpture ne se trouvait pas dans une zone reculée, mais près de la route principale qui traverse la vallée.

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