When it first made the news, the space Buddha statue drew a lot of attention. Obviously it caught experts’ eye and one expert says that the meteorite space Buddha statue is likely fake. It is still made from a meteorite, but it’s not the original statue.
It wasn’t necessarily the fact that the statues was carved from a rare meteorite, but its association with Nazi Tibet expeditions that put it under the spotlight. It was the same reason that had researchers take a second look at the space Buddha statue, that one expert says it’s not as ancient as people seem to believe.
According to Achim Bayer, Buddhism expert, the Buddha statue said to have been carved from a rare iron meteorite a 1,000 years ago is likely a fake. It’s not the authenticity of the meteorite that the Buddhism expert is challenging, but the statue’s origins. According to his expertise, we’re most likely looking at a 20th-century fake.
Achim Bayer is an expert in Buddhism with the Dongguk University in South Korea and claims that the meteorite space Buddha statue is not that ancient. The expert made a report about the statue, that he believes it was carved sometime between 1910 and 1970, labeling it an European reproduction.
The expert bases his claims on several features that he calls “pseudo-Tibetan”. In other words, Achim Bayer found little details in the carving that don’t exactly pan out with how Tibetans saw the world some 1,000 years ago. As a matter of fact, the details in shoes, trousers, sleeves and even the beard are more similar to what Europeans envisioned about Tibet and Buddhism.
On the overall, the expert found “thirteen most salient points” such as the fact that “the lama is neither barefoot nor does he wear traditional boots” and that “the shoes cover the feet, like European shoes, up to the ankles and no further”. “The single earring is extremely unusual and the ears are not symmetrical”, while “the curved shape of the eyes quite certainly goes back to a failed attempt to copy the distinctive curving of eyes in Tibetan art” the expert adds.
The Buddhism expert also challenges the idea that the space Buddha statue was actually brought in Germany following a Nazi expedition in Tibet. The theory is that the statue was linked to the controversial Nazi expeditions to help make it more valuable in the memorabilia market.