Myanmar Ministry of Culture moves against Bagan balloons

Balloons over Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150626

Hot air balloons over the Bagan temples have been a common sight in the last decade, but the Ministry of Culture is trying to stop these flights as they pose a threat to the temples due to their close proximity to the temples.

Balloons over Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150626
Balloons over Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150626

Balloons pose a risk to pagodas
TTR Weekly, 26 June 2015

Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture has asked the President’s Office to halt hot-air balloon flights over the city’s fabled pagodas in case they cause damage.

The balloons fly low over the pagodas to give visitors a bird’s eye view, but there are concerns that if there is a mishap or a forced landing the balloons could cause damage to the ancient structures.

No balloon-pagoda collisions have occurred, at least during the past 10 years, local hoteliers and tour operators report, but the ministry is adamant that they are a potential risk.

Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library deputy general director, U Thein Lwin, told the Myanmar Times that the bud-like ornament on top of the pagoda’s spire could be damaged by a balloon flying low, as customers sometimes request to take photographs.

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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