Myanmar to Submit Bagan for UNESCO Entry this Month

Myanmar, Bagan, culture, architecture, UNESCO

It would certainly by a historical event for Myanmar.

The Myanmar government is expected to submit an application for the Bagan Archaeological Zone to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the end of this month, it was reported by Myanmar media last week. Bagan is considered one of the most iconic destinations in the country.

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone. Despite earthquakes or destructions, today remains over 2,200 temples and pagodas which arfe still visible for visitors.

“We are now ready to submit an application to UNESCO by the end of this January. The World Heritage Site Committee will bring up the subject for deliberation at UNESCO’s 2019 World Heritage Site convention,” said Kyaw Oo Lwin, director general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum, and Library.The application has been in the process since 2014.

During the military regime, bids were conducted by the Myanmar government several times but were always turned down by the UNESCO as experts found that many restoration work did not respect the original architecture or way fo construction of the pagodas. An observation tower in proximity to some pagodas even angered many conservationists.

However, after Bagan was hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Aug. 2016. It was estimated that some 400   pagodas were damaged or destroyed, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi instructed the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs to take advantage of the situation by repairing and restoring the pagodas more carefully.Some 12 million US dollars have been affected for the reconstruction, but a listing to UNESCO World Heritage List would definitely help raising more funds and probably protect the future development of the Archeological Zone in a more sustanaible way.

Hopes are very high as shortly after the repairs began at the end of 2015, a UNESCO official said that the Bagan Archaeological Zone was “very likely” to be accepted as a World Heritage Site.

Myanmar’s existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the three ancient Pyu cities of Halin, Beikthano, and Sri Ksetra. They are also ideas of listing some of Yangon magnificent colonial buildings.

(Source: Coconut Yangon)