The Taliban destroyed the ancient monuments in 2001. But they’ve been recreated with the help of lasers.

Residents of Bamiyan got a rare opportunity over the weekend: a chance to once again see giant Buddhas that have been piles of rubble for over a decade. 3-D projection technology has already been used to resurrect dead music legends

and pipe busy politicians into campaign rallies, and now it’s been employed to recreate a cultural icon that watched over this valley in Afghanistan for more than 1,500 years.

The two Buddhas of Bamiyan were constructed in the sixth century, at a time when the area was a site of pilgrimage and learning for Buddhists. Both Buddhas were carved out of sandstone cliffs and stood at well over 100 feet, and at one

point painted and gilded. They managed to withstand the introduction of Islam to the region and the armies of Genghis Khan, but were unable to survive past the first year of the 21st century. The Taliban destroyed the Buddhas in March 2001.