Most of the heritage places stem from religious practices and ideas. However, monuments around the world are often destroyed because of conflicting beliefs.

The cultural landscape of the Bamiyan Valley represents the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries CE characterized ancient Bactria, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art. The gigantic Buddha statues represent the most iconic cultural and religious symbol of the valley.

However, in 2001 the Taliban government declared the Buddhas of Bamiyan idols conflicting with "aniconism", the Islamic proscription against the creation of images of sentient beings. As a result, in March 2001 the statues were destroyed.

Falser, M. 2001. The Bamiyan Buddhas, performative iconoclasm and the ‘image’ of heritage. In: The image of heritage. Changing perception, permanent responsibilities. ICOMOS, Florence, 157-169.

UNESCO 2003. Expert Working Group on the Preservation of the Bamiyan Site. ICOMOS Heritage at Risk 2002-2003.

Gruen, A., Remondino, F. and Zhang, L. 2005. The Bamiyan project: multi-resolution image-based modeling. Recording, Modeling and Visualization of Cultural Heritage 415, 45-54.