The Buddhas of Bamiyan – Reconstruction — The Afghanistan Institute & Museum, Bubendorf (Switzerland) and the New7Wonders Society & Foundation, Zurich (Switzerland) have launched a campaign to reconstruct the Buddhas at original shape, size and place with computer reconstructin, serving as the basis for the physical recreation, by ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Three data sets — low resolution images of the Great Buddha from the internet; a 1970 set of Austrian high resolution metric photographs; and some tourist images from the late ’60’s — are being used in parallel.

The reconstruction process for all data sets consists of:

  • image calibration and orientation;

  • image matching to extract the 3D points;

  • point cloud editing and surface triangulation;

  • texture mapping and visualization.



The computer model generated with the manual measurements on the metric images will be used for the physical reconstruction of the Great Buddha of Bamiyan. First a small statue will be constructed (scale 1:200) to reproduce the original figure. Then a 1/10 size model of the Buddha will be created and set in the museum of Bubendorf. This model is necessary to study (1)the materials to be used, (2)the construction methods to be applied and (3)the implementation of the necessary infrastuctures for the final rebuilding of the full size Buddha in Afghanistan.

Currently the fundraising efforts are underway to support the physical reconstruction of the Great Buddha of Bamiyan.