Historic Yangon disappearing

Yangon's changing landscape. Source: BBC News, 20150209

Yangon is home to a number of historically significant buildings, but its quick modernisation from the country’s opening up to the world threatens this flavour.

Yangon's changing landscape. Source: BBC News, 20150209
Yangon’s changing landscape. Source: BBC News, 20150209

The struggle to save Yangon’s architectural heritage
BBC News, 09 February 2015

Shepherding a flock of tourists through the traffic-congested streets of Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, a local tour guide shouts over the roar of oncoming vehicles.

Here, on Bogolay Zay Street amid the moss-covered, weather-stained, early-20th Century facades in the historic centre of the city, the history of the colonial buildings that make up old Rangoon, once the capital of Burma, begins to come into focus.

To the right, the former residence of famed Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda; to the left, one can still see the signage for the Young Women’s Christian Association, circa 1902.

In the distance is the city’s most iconic building – The Secretariat – where General Aung San, the metaphorical father of modern Myanmar and actual father of Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was assassinated in 1947.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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