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AFGHANISTAN, DECEMBER 30, 2001: The new Afghan Government has said it plans to rebuild the historic giant statues of Buddha at Bamiyan destroyed by the Taliban. The giant Buddhas were dynamited by the old regime which viewed them as an affront to Islam. The new Minister of Information and Culture, Raheen Makhdoom, said his government would like to rebuild the destroyed statues as soon as possible. He said that while the rebuilt Buddhas would not be exactly what they once were, it was necessary to reconstruct them. The two statues stood between 40 and 50 meters high and were over 1,500 years old.