Bagan’s conflict between tourism and preservation

The headline is a terrible, terrible pun, but some of the statistics in the article is interesting – visitor numbers are up from 100,000 in 2010 to 240,000 last year. More than double an increase in just four years!

They’ve only just Bagan
AsiaOne, 05 November 2015

Bagan is an ancient city that flourished from the 11th to 13th centuries.

Earthquakes damaged some monuments over the years, but more than 2,000 monuments remain, about 400 of which feature intricate mural paintings based on the Pali canon, a collection of Buddhist scriptures.

The United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco) is attempting to make Bagan a World Heritage Site by 2017, but the going has been tough.

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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