Chinese firm seeks to build a theatre in Bagan

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Source: Myanmar Times, 05 April 2019
Source: Myanmar Times, 05 April 2019

via Myanmar Times, 05 April 2019: Following the Cambodia model of cultural heritage and tourism support.

A chinese company is interested in building a theatre in the Bagan heritage zone in Mandalay Region, according to the Department of Archaeology and National Museum in Bagan.

Officials of the Yunnan Culture Industry Investment Holding Co visited Bagan in late March to discuss constructing and opening a theatre. Their objective is to cooperate with resident artists, including ethnic people, to enhance the culture and heritage of Bagan, said U Aung Aung Kyaw, director of the department.

“They came here to make a preliminary study. Our rules, regulations, procedures and the nature of our cultural heritage were explained to them. In Bagan, after sight-seeing in the daytime, there is nothing to do at night, so from a tourism point of view, there might be a need for such a theatre. There are both good and bad points about the idea,” he said.

Source: Chinese firm seeks to build a theatre in Bagan | The Myanmar Times

Categories: Bagan Burma (Myanmar)

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Preservation of 700-year-old murals begins

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via Myanmar Times, 27 Mar 2019:

The delicate work of repairing 14th century murals from the time of the Pinya kingdom has been started, the Ministry of Religion and Culture announced last Friday.

Experts have begun work on the murals in the Seikta Goteta Cave in an area that was once part of the ancient city of Myinsaing. The cave is 22 kilometres east of Kyaukse in Mandalay Region.

Source: Preservation of 700-year-old murals begins | The Myanmar Times

War’s impact on Mrauk-U cultural heritage to be surveyed

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Mrauk U. Source: Myanmar Times 20190402
Mrauk U. Source: Myanmar Times 20190402
Mrauk U. Source: Myanmar Times 20190402

via Myanmar Times, 02 April 2019: The Myanmar Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library will commission a survey to look at the effects of the recent armed conflict at the Mrauk-U temples. On a related story (below), a monk petitioned the governor to stop positioning forces on a hill where a historical pagoda is located.

A survey will look at the effects of recent armed clashes on the Mrauk-U historical zone, which is being considered for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, said U Than Htike, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library.

Despite the recent fighting between the Tatmadaw (military) and ethnic Arakan Army, the application to list Mrauk-U in Rakhine State as a world heritage site will be submitted in September and the survey will be conducted when the conflict ends.

Source: War’s impact on Mrauk-U cultural heritage to be surveyed | The Myanmar Times

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Tomb-shaped structure found at Thon Pan Hla excavation site

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via Myanmar Times, 14 Mar 2019:

A Tomb-shaped structure has been unearthed at the Thon Pan Hla archaeological excavation site in Bago Region, said U Kyaw Myo Win, deputy director of Archaeology and National Museum Department.

The structure was found in Ko Gyi Mhyote village, Sin Myee Swe city, about 80 kilometres from the ancient Pyu-era capital of Thayekhittaya, said U Kyaw Myo Win.

“It is difficult to say if it is a tomb. In the excavation, structures were found that have not been found at other Pyu-era sites. We cannot tell yet whether it is a tomb or a temple,” he said.

Source: Tomb-shaped structure found at Thon Pan Hla excavation site | The Myanmar Times

Categories: Bagan Burma (Myanmar)

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Archaeologists urge no-fire zone at Mrauk-U site

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People look at an unexploded rocket in Mrauk U township in Rakhine State on March 16. Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190320
People look at an unexploded rocket in Mrauk U township in Rakhine State on March 16. Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190320
People look at an unexploded rocket in Mrauk U township in Rakhine State on March 16. Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190320

via the Myanmar Times, 20 Mar 2019: Tensions in Mrauk U as people stay indoors and tourists have cleared out.

Archaeologists want the Mrauk-U cultural heritage zone to be declared off limits to combatants after an artillery shell damaged one of its ancient pagodas during a recent clash between government forces and the Arakan Army.

The Myanmar Archaeology Association urged combatants to avoid the area as it is being prepared for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In last Friday’s clash, an artillery shell hit the historic Mye Hte Pagoda and the security gate of a cultural conservation zone near Tukkathein Pagoda.

Myanmar is a signatory to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which urges conflicting parties against targeting cultural heritage areas, using them as forts, or fighting in those areas.

Source: Archaeologists urge no-fire zone at Mrauk-U site | The Myanmar Times

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Armed conflict at Mrauk-U damages temples and displaces villagers

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View from hazy sunset over silhouette Ratanabon Paya in Mrauk-U, Myanmar
View from hazy sunset over silhouette Ratanabon Paya in Mrauk-U, Myanmar
View from hazy sunset over silhouette Ratanabon Paya in Mrauk-U, Myanmar. Stock photos from Shutterstock / isarescheewin

via various news sources, 18-19 March 2019: Reports of armed conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar armed forces in Rakhine. Local villagers have been displaced to flee the conflict zones, while some temples of the Mrauk-U archaeological site have been damaged from weapons fire. Myanmar is currently preparing to nominate Mrauk U as a world heritage site.

Not only residents of Mrauk-U, but also archaeologists are concerned about the effects of the ongoing hostilities in their ancient township.

Battles between Myanmar and Arakan forces damaged some of the township archeological heritage buildings and have become an obstacle to efforts to include the monuments on the UNESCO World Heritage list, residents and archaeologists said.

Hundreds of ancient but well-preserved temples and pagodas that dot the area’s hills are remnants of a powerful empire that existed there from the 15th century to the late 18th century.

“The damage inside the archaeological heritage areas caused by the ongoing fighting could be irreparable,” said Khin Than, chairwoman of the group Mrauk-U Heritage Trust.

“I am concerned that these irreplaceable archaeological treasures won’t be able to survive if there is heavy artillery firing and bombing by airstrikes,” she said. “Locals who live inside the archaeological zone also want peace and stability. Nobody wants war.”

The A-Naut-Myae-Htae pagoda was hit by fallen mortar shells during a night of shooting and shelling in Mrauk-U on March 15, said Than Htike, director of Mrauk-U’s Archaeological Department.

A security tent near the Shite-Thaung pagoda, an iconic monument among Rakhine’s archeological sites, was hit by heavy artillery, while bullets fell in the vicinity, which is designated as an archaeological zone, he said.

Source: Weekend Fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine Drives 400 Villagers From Their Homes

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Draft law on heritage sites needs to be stronger, civic groups say

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Source: Myanmar Times 20190204
Source: Myanmar Times 20190204

via Myanmar Times, 04 Feb 2019: Under the draft Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Law, management of heritage sites would be decentralised to the region and states instead of by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. I wonder how this might affect the management of the World Heritage sites.

Mandalay residents, civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental groups said the draft amendments of the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Law needs to be made stronger by including a mechanism for public participation.

The committee for the amendment of the law, which was enacted in 1998, is headed by U Myat Thu, minister for Planning and Finance of the Mandalay Region government.

Last week, the draft was discussed by members of the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) Bill Committee, the Myanmar Archaeology Association and Bagan-Nyaung-U CSOs. The draft is now ready for debate in the Pyithu Hluttaw.

Source: Draft law on heritage sites needs to be stronger, civic groups say | The Myanmar Times

Bagan ready for heritage listing experts

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Source: Myanmar Times 20190125
Source: Myanmar Times 20190125

via Myanmar Times, 25 January 2019:

The Department of Archaeology and National Museums is ready to answer questions on the Bagan heritage area from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), says the department’s director. Richard Mackay, an expert from the council, conducted a survey last September for a report that will be submitted to UNESCO regarding Myanmar’s application to list the ancient city as a World Heritage Site. “We are preparing to answer the questions of the ICOMOS expert, who wants more information before su

Source: Bagan ready for heritage listing experts | The Myanmar Times

From cursed treasure to British warplanes: the buried mysteries of Myanmar

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Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

via Frontier Myanmar, 20 Jan 2019: A rundown of Myanmar’s archaeological mysteries – some legendary, but some also real and have been featured on this website previously: the search for buried Spitfire warplanes in Yangon, the search for the Dhammazedi bell, and the tomb of the Ayutthaya King Uthumphon near Mandalay.

Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

DYNASTIC WARS, encounters with pirates and mercenaries, wars with the British and the Japanese occupation have shaped the texture of Myanmar – and left some of its biggest mysteries deep underground. These are a few of the most tantalising.

Source: From cursed treasure to British warplanes: the buried mysteries of Myanmar | Frontier Myanmar

Restoration project reopens ‘best view in Yangon’

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via Nikkei Asian Review, 20181208

 

via Nikkei Asian Review, 08 December 2018:

Wardill and his team are more than a year into restoration of the colonial-era Tourist Burma building. The elegant structure was erected in 1905 by an Indian merchant, who called it the Fytche Square Building, and transformed in 1918 by Ba Nyunt, a local businessman, into Yangon’s first locally owned department store, the Burmese Favourite Company. In 1920, Ba Nyunt’s son Tin New set up the Dagon Magazine Company on the premises, which became a prestigious outlet for local writers.

In 1947, the building was converted for use by the government, initially housing civil servants administering a rations scheme, and eventually passed to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, which used the ground floor as a visitor information center called Tourist Burma — the name by which the building is now generally known. Since 2005 it has been empty and rotting following the government’s shift from Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, to Naypyidaw, the new capital of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Restoration project reopens ‘best view in Yangon’

Source: Restoration project reopens ‘best view in Yangon’ – Nikkei Asian Review