10 Sep 2006 (Chicago Tribune, LA Times) – Another news feature on the architectural damage done to the stupas in Burma/Myanmar by the military junta.
‘Blitzkrieg’ rehab imperils Myanmar’s ancient temples
BAGAN, Myanmar — The bricklayers are paid $1.35 a day to rebuild the ancient ruin: a small, 13th Century temple reduced by time to little more than its foundation.
But they have no training in repairing aged monuments, and their work has nothing to do with actually restoring one of the world’s most important Buddhist sites. Instead, using modern red bricks and mortar, they are building a new temple on top of the old.
They work from a single page of drawings supplied by the government. Three simple sketches provide the design for a generic brick structure and a fanciful archway. No one knows, or seems to care, what the original temple looked like. Nearby are two piles of 700-year-old bricks that were pulled from the ruin. The bricklayers use them to fill holes in the temple.