At bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting by some

22 Apr

Samples from paintings, dating from the 7th century, were taken from caves behind two statues of Buddha that were blown up as un-Islamic by Afghanistan's hardline Taliban in 2001.

The paintings in 12 of the 50 caves were created using oil paints, possibly from walnut or poppy, according to scientists at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France.

Oil paintings have been found in caves behind the two ancient colossal Buddha statues destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban, suggesting that Asians — not Europeans — were the first to invent oil painting.

Many people worldwide were in shock when the Taliban destroyed the Buddha statues in the Afghan region of Bamiyan.

Artists in Afghanistan were painting using oils as far back as the 7th century, research shows, hundreds of years before oil paint was used in Europe.

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"This is the earliest clear example of oil paintings in the world, although drying oils were already used by ancient Romans and Egyptians, but only as medicines and cosmetics", explains Ms Taniguchi, leader of the team."My European colleagues were shocked because they always believed oil paintings were invented in Europe.Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley.It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts.Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.