Aung San museum reopens
Yangon, 25 April 2012: Bogyoke Aung San Museum a former residence of General Bogyoke Aung San, an independence leader who opposed British colonial rule, reopened after being closed for five years according to a report in the Myanmar Times.
National Museum (Yangon) director who is responsible for the administration of the Bogyoke Aung San museum said the decision to reopen the building had been made so people had the opportunity to learn more about the country’s independence hero.
“The museum is one of the places to learn about an independence leader who devoted his life to freeing the country,” U Thaung Win said.
The museum is managed by the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library under the Ministry of Culture and renovations were carried out to strengthen the walls, roof and repair walkways.
A 20-person limit has also been set to ensure the second floor of the wooden building is safe. Captions on exhibits, photographs and historic documents have also been improved to make the museum more relevant for visitors.
The Bogyoke Aung San Museum, built in 1921, is a two-level wooden structure set on 2.4 acres in Bahan township. He lived in the house with his family from May 1945 until his assassination in July 1947. The site opened as a museum in 1962, but was shut in January 2007. Since then it opened only once a year on Martyrs’ Day or a national holiday on 19 July.
The restriction was in line with the military government’s policy to restrict any mention of General Aung San in the media to marginalise his daughtrer, Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest.
The Burmese government granted Suu Kyi varying degrees of freedom throughout late 2009, in response to international pressure and she was released from the house arrest in November 2010.
The museum features pictures and paintings of Bogyoke Aung San, excerpts from his most well-known speeches and some personal possessions, including a collection of 240 books.
In the dining room, a table is set with the Bogyoke’s favourite meal – boiled peas (pe pyote) and Indian-style baked wheat bread (nan bya).
The museum opens Wednesday through Sunday from 1000 to 1600, except public holidays. The entrance fee is 300 Kyats (US$0.4) for adults – both Myanmar and foreigners – and 100 Kyats (US$0.1) for children under 12, while entry is free for schoolchildren.
“The re-opening of the museum is a positive change. The general was the most powerful figure in Myanmar politics – he once united the nation… I think spreading Bogyoke’s words in the media could help to re-unite the country again,” said 88-year-old U Maung Mya from Sanchaung township.
The move has also been welcomed by members of the tourism industry, who said the museum would l prove popular with tourists, due to Myanmar’s recent political changes.