BRR, Bert Praxenthaler
Conservation of Historic Monuments and Sculpture
Sculptor and Art Historian | | Tel: +49 8191 98 91 58 | D-86929 Penzing, Epfenhausen, Bahnhofstr. 12
International Preservation Projects for
in Bamiyan, Afghanistan

2004 - 2011

Salvaging, documentation and emergency preservation of fragments of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Consolidation of the rear side of the Buddha niche. In cooperation with the TU Munich, department conservation sciences.
(The Buddhas had been destroyed by Taliban forces in March 2001.)

--> IIAS: C. Wyndham, 'Bordering On the Criminal'

afghanische Arbeiter in der Nische des Gr. Buddha
2004- 2007: Afghan Workers
salvage fragments of the about 1600 cbm debris of Western Buddha (56 m)

report 2004
(pdf, 570 KB)
The Giant Buddhas (ICOMOS-publcation 2009, pdf 16 MB)
H@R2008-10, Afghanistan (ICOMOS-publication 2011, pdf, 860 KB, compl. publ. >>>)

Bamiyan, Afghanistan: diamond core drillings for stabilizing the Buddha niche
Core drilling at the Eastern Buddha to set steel anchors (2010)

>>> Video A 1970's visit to Bamiyan <<<

--> James Janowski: Resuscitating Bamiyan’s Buddhas?
A Dispatch From Dresden, Two Lessons Learned>

ICOMOS International
ICOMOS, Deutsches Nationalkomitee
Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege
Deutscher Restauratorenverband
Bamiyan Cultural Centre
see artistic offsprings:
Bert Praxenthaler:
Sculpture and graphics - current works, exhibitions

--> Keeping History Alive
(pdf, 14 MB; UNESCO;2016,
ed. by B. Cassar, S. Noshadi)

Restoration and reconstruction of historic sculpture

Since 1986 I am working in the fields of preservation and restoration as a freelance sculptor and art historian. Projects (selection): Frauenkirche München (Leinberger),
Buxheim(baroque choir stalls), Haimpertshofen (renaissance retabel), Kaufbeuren (gothic altar St. Blasius), Michelfeld (Asamkirche), Altomünster (baroque church), Rottenbuch (monastery church)
notsicherung von putzfragmenten
2004: Consolidating the fragments of mud plaster alpine style. A scaffold was not available until end of 2007.
Felsfragment GBF 08.
Fragment Nr. 48 with traces of sculptural work
of Western Buddha

Afghanische Mitarbeiter bei der Mittagspause
Our afghan team at lunchtime in one of the temple caves at Eastern Buddha, 2009

Fragment der Lehmfassung vom Gr. Buddha
Fragment of clay plaster of Western. Buddha
(with rope armature)

Chorgestühl in Buxheim, von Ignaz Waibl1990-94: Baroque choir stalls(1694) at Buxheim (Bavaria), rebuilding and partly reconstruction
Schwerlastkran vor der Nische des Gr. Buddha
2004: salvaging of rock fragments,
Western Buddha (56 m)
Hallen zur Lagerung der Felsfragmente
Storage halls with fragments, Western Buddha
Sicherung von Lehmputzfragmenten am Östlichen Buddha, 2008
Restoration of in situ mud plaster fragments at Eastern Buddha, 2008 and 2009
Armierungshözer vom Gr. Buddha
Armature wooden pegs, Western Buddha, 6./7. Jh. AD

Karyatide in Buxheim
Buxheim: Reconstruction of a caryatid
In der Nische des Kleinen Buddha: Sicherung von vorhandenen Fragmenten.
2004: In the niche of the Eastern Buddha. Some remains dared to fall off the cliff and had to be secured.
Bergung von Felsfragmenten am Kl. Buddha mit Schwerlastkran
2005: salvaging of rock fragments, Eastern Buddha (38 m)

The start at the Bamiyan site was in 2004 with building storages for the fragments and salvaging those. Part of the job was training of afghan crafts to join the project in a qualified way. Later in 2008 consolidation of the Buddha niche and restoration of original parts of the clay plaster have been continuing the mission.


see Smithsonian magazine:

Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan,
by Josh Hammer 2010

Das Team aus eutschland mit Governeurin Dr. Sarabi am Östlichen Buddha, 2008
B. Praxenthaler (left) at Eastern Buddha with visitors from Munich of TUM, Prof. Emmerling), Gov. Dr. Sarabi, Prof. Fecker from Karlsruhe, Dipl. Ing. S. Seradj and M. Mirzai. (Oct. 2008)

Renaissance altar at Haimpertshofen: design, reconstruction and restoration of ornaments
Shar I Gholghola, Wachtturm, Mai 2013; Photo Bert  Praxenthaler
May 2013: Start of the conservation treatments at one of the many watchtowers of Shar-I-Gholghola.

Shar I Gholghola, Oktober 2013, Photo Bert Praxenthaler
That ancient fortified city lies on a hill inmidst the Bamiyan valley; destroyed by Gengis Khan about 800 years ago
2013 has been the start for the conservation measures at Shar-I-Gholghola; after the terrain had been clearde of mines in 2008 and 09 (Partnershipagreement ICOMOS-UNESCO, Funding by Italy). The buildings which are mainly at very steep locations are endangered by erosion channels. Stabilizing bases and walls have been the firsttreatments. Only use of traditional materials and methods as mudbricks, local stones, woods. Shar I Gholghola, Restaurierte Kuppelgebäude. Photo Bert Praxenthaler
The restored building complex at the western slope, a relatively new building app. 100 years. Eight domes had been restored or reconstructed.
Diessen, Umsetzung der Kirchenväterfiguren.
Diessen: Translocation of the big statues of the Fathers of the Church (2010/11))
Shar-I-Gholghola, Restaurierungsarbeiten an der Westseite der Ruinenstadt, Foto Bert Praxenthaler
Juli 2014: Translation in work...
Shar-I-Gholghola, Restaurierungsarbeiten. Foto Bert Praxenthaler
The hand made thousands of mud bricks will be transported by donkeys to the conservation site.
Shar-I-Gholghola, Baudokumentation, Foto: Bert Praxenthaler
Bauaufmaß und -dokumentation, Kampf mit dem Massband. Dieser Raum war ehemals mit einer Spitztonne überwölbt, siehe noch vorhandenen Gewölbeansatz.
Shar_E-Gholghola, Kulturveranstaltung mit afghanischen Musikern, Ende Mai 2014.
The first cultural event a t the restored building with domes complex at Gholghola City: May 2014 the first cultural event has taken place there. Many visitors including the Governor and some VIUPs have been coming. See
>> traditional afghan music
Schongau, Hl. Geist: Putto stark von Anobien geschädigt. Nov. 2013. Foto Bert Praxenthaler
The wood beetle had attacked: falling angels (Schongau, Hl. Geist, 2013)
Bert Praxenthaler, Sculptor and Art Historian (M.A.) | Tel/Fax: +49 8191 98 91 58 | D-86929 Penzing, Epfenhausen, Bahnhofstr. 12, Germany