BAGAN, 28 September 2015: Myanmar’s Minister for Culture says Bagan is facing challenges to preserve the area’s heritage.
Union Minister for Culture, U Aye Myint Kyu, told local media during a workshop, late last week, that technical expertise, communications and cultural understanding were crucial for Bagan if it is to save its heritage.
“There is a need to make sure heritage conservation management is in line with UNESCO’s policy, as well as taking on board experts from ASEAN member states in conserving Bagan’s cultural heritages and work for enlisting Bagan in the world heritage list.”
Bagan Archaeological Zone covers about 42 sq km (16 miles) and has more than 3,000 pagodas.
Maintenance and historical records for all pagodas, stupas and other religious edifices will be collected to determine how many structures remain in their original form and what preservation work needs to be completed.
Bagan is an ancient city located in Mandalay Region built between the 9th and 11th centuries, when some 55 Buddhist kings ruled the Bagan Dynasty.
Myanmar has nominated 14 sites for inclusion on the World Heritage List, including Mandalay’s ancient kingdoms and Mrauk U in Arakan State. So far, only the ancient cities of Pyi have been added to the prestigious list.
Experts estimate it could take around two years to secure Bagan’s status as a World Heritage site with the UNESCO board that considers applications just once a year at its annual general meeting.