New York Times, 11 May 2017: The NYT has a ground level look at Myanmar’s bid to put Bagan on the World Heritage List. While I suspect that we, readers from the outside, think that the World Heritage listing is a good thing for the ruins and the country, the article is more ambivalent about what this current push means.
“World Heritage? No one cares about that,” Ms. Soe Moe Thue said as she stood under an umbrella in a light drizzle recently. “We just need to survive.”
Bagan’s monument complex is a crown jewel in a tourism sector that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has grown rapidly since Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, began a rocky transition toward democracy in 2011.
Source: Myanmar Is Restoring Temples to Rebuild its Heritage – The New York Times
Bangkok Post, 06 May 2017
The evaluation of old houses in the Mahakan community under five criteria is well under way, community leader Tawatchai Voramahakun said on Friday.
Source: Evaluation of Mahakan Fort houses under way | Bangkok Post: lifestyle
Phnom Penh Post, 04 May 2017
Driving along National Road 6 from Phnom Penh towards Kampong Thom and Siem Reap, one will spot the looming heads of stone serpents – or nagas – on the hundreds of ancient bridges built between the 10th and 14th centuries.
Source: Untampered and intact ancient bridges to stay that way, Post Property, Phnom Penh Post
Bangkok Post, 30 April 2017: An array of jars were discovered underneath a Buddha image in Ayutthaya, which are thought to be part of a construction technique rather than a relic offering.
AYUTTHAYA – Thirty-two ancient jars have been found underneath the main Buddha image in the chapel of Wat Daeng temple in Tha Rua district during an excavation by archaeologists for the renovation of the temple.
Source: Ancient jars found at Ayutthaya’s Wat Daeng | Bangkok Post: news
Bangkok Post, 25 April 2017. The German Wat Ratchaburana Safeguarding Project (GRASP), that recently concluded its five-year project.
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Two pagodas of Wat Ratchaburana in central Ayutthaya are almost 600 years old, but their beauty is still visible due to conservation efforts. The remaining stucco and plaster at both stupas (prang and mondop), the Buddha statues at the Prang, the floral decoration at the east face of the prayer hall and the stucco at a small pagoda — they have been preserved partly as a result of a German conservation project in close co-operation with the Ayutthaya Historical Park and Unesco Bangkok.
Source: ‘Stone doctors’ operate in Thailand | Bangkok Post: lifestyle
Bangkok Post, 21 April 2017
Experts have proposed a five-point appraisal to evaluate the houses in Mahakan Fort community for conservation.
Source: Mahakan Fort panel may reprieve some houses | Bangkok Post: news
Villagers in Thailand’s Nakhon Sawan province attempt to revive an abandoned temple
NAKHON SAWAN — An old Buddhist temple, long abandoned and left to ruin, is being renovated by local people for use as a meditation centre, near Ban Nasan village in tambon Nong Kradon of Muang district.
Source: Villagers renovating long-abandoned temple | Bangkok Post: news
The community at the Mahakan Fort continue to have their houses razed, but at the same time a panel has been set up to evaluate the historical value of some of the remaining houses. It looks futile at this stage, since even if the houses are preserved the living community has been actively destroyed?
A 10-member panel will be formed to look into the historical value of the remaining houses in the Mahakan Fort Community to determine whether they should be preserved, says a source close to City Hall.
Source: Panel to appraise Mahakan fort homes | Bangkok Post: lifestyle
After uproar from multiple parties over the destruction of the community around the Mahakan Fort, a new panel has been set to determine the historic value of the remaining 24 houses.
Parties involved in settling the Mahakan Fort community land conflict appear to have gone back to square one as City Hall agreed yesterday to set up a new panel to handle the case.
Source: Mahakan Fort community row goes ‘back to square one’ | Bangkok Post: news
See Also: Old town communities leap to Mahakan Fort’s defence | Bangkok Post
The Myanmar Department of Archaeology and National Museum reports the upcoming completion of repairs 224 temples in Bagan damaged by last year’s earthquake, and repairs to another 50 to begin after the new year.
Source: Bagan: Earthquake-affected pagodas to be renovated | Eleven Myanmar