UNESCO World Heritage Centre – UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

The Maritime Silk Route would naturally include many Southeast Asian stops.

UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

There has been much discussion about possible strategies for the nominations on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the impact of maritime trade on the cultures and civilizations between East and West often referred to as the ‘Maritime Silk Routes’. The aim of this UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes, which will be held on 30-31 May 2017 in London, is to bring together scholars who have worked on the history, archaeology, and heritage of maritime interactions across this vast area in order to discuss the strategy for further research, as well as the development of a platform to enter into a possible dialogue with the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention along the Maritime Silk Routes.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Centre – UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

Myanmar Is Restoring Temples to Rebuild its Heritage

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

Bagan cultural zone to be included in proposed UNESCO listing

Myanmar Times, 10 May 2017:

A draft plan to designate Bagan as one of the World’s Heritage sites will be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in September.

Source: Bagan cultural zone to be included in UNESCO

Govt to Submit Bagan UNESCO World Heritage Site Application in Sept

The Irrawady, 08 May 2017

The initial application to have the Bagan Archaeological Zone listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site will be submitted by Sept. this year, according to the religion and culture ministry.

“The draft report and draft management plan are now 60 percent complete and we will submit the dossier in September,” said U Thein Lwin, the deputy director of the Department of Archeology, National Museum and Library under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture.

If the draft is submitted to UNESCO on time, World Heritage Site Committee representatives could visit Bagan in 2018 and the site would be brought up for deliberation at UNESCO’s 2019 World Heritage Site convention, according to the director.

Source: Govt to Submit Bagan UNESCO World Heritage Site Application in Sept

Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status will be kept: ministry 

Nation, 08 May 2017: Thailand expresses confidence that Ayutthaya will not lose its World Heritage Site status.

The Culture Ministry is confident about its bid to protect the World Heritage status of Ayutthaya.

Source: Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status will be kept: ministry 

Myanmar strives to enlist Bagan as world cultural heritage

Xinhua, 07 May 2017: Myanmar hopes to formally nominate Bagan as a World Heritage Site by submitting the nomination dossier in September and amending local laws.

Myanmar strives to enlist Bagan as world cultural heritage

Source: Myanmar strives to enlist Bagan as world cultural heritage – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Unesco Status Sought for Kampot, Kratie and Battambang

Cambodia Daily, 7 April 2017

A bid to gain Unesco heritage status for three Cambodian cities is set to progress as the government prepares to make a formal request for Battambang City, Kratie City and Kampot City in June to be considered for preservation.

Work on plans to win recognition for the cities—“rich in ancient buildings” that deserve to be conserved, according to the request—first began more than two years ago.

Source: Unesco Status Sought for Kampot, Kratie and Battambang – The Cambodia Daily

Is Unesco status a blessing or a burden? New paper discusses Southeast Asian examples

From the Cambodia Daily and the Journal of Cultural Heritage:

The global recognition given to the Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap—and other sites around the world that receive U.N. world heritage status—does as much to damage as it does to preserve the historical gem, according to a new research paper.

The paper, published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage and made available online last week, outlines how recognition from Unesco is used as a tourism marketing tool, resulting in more visitor traffic to cultural sites, which threatens their short- and long-term sustainability.

Source: World Heritage Status, Tourists Threaten Angkor Preservation – The Cambodia Daily

See the journal article here: Is UNESCO World Heritage recognition a blessing or burden? Evidence from developing Asian countries

To both acknowledge and protect many cultural heritage expressions, sites and practices, UNESCO has instituted three conventions; Tangible Heritage, Intangible Heritage and Diversity of Cultural Expression. If a site/practice receives this UNESCO badge, it is an acknowledgment of its universal cultural and/or natural value as well as recognition of the need to protect it from harm. However, the UNESCO badge is an important marketing tool in world tourism and its presence ensures many more visitors to a site/practice that is UNESCO recognised. With increasing wealth and mobility, many more people are travelling than was possible even a decade ago. Increasing numbers of visitors can negatively impact on a site/practice as well as affect the local culture and integrity of a region, particularly in developing countries. So, is the UNESCO recognition a blessing or burden? This paper addresses the challenges that ensue from the UNESCO conventions by considering three UNESCO World Heritage case study sites in Asian developing countries. In particular, it seeks to understand the extent to which UNESCO’s World Heritage approach protects or further undermines the cultural heritage sustainability of these sites.

Weekend festival for Ayutthaya anniversaries

To celebrate the 666th anniversary of Ayutthaya Kingdom, an old capital of Thailand, and the 25th anniversary of Ayutthaya as a Unesco World Heritage Site, numerous activities under the theme of “Development In Accordance With The Footsteps Of Phraya Boran Ratchathanin” will be held by the Fine Arts Department and several public and private agencies at the Chantharakasem National Museum in Ayutthaya until Sunday.

Source: Remembering Ayutthaya | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

Price changes for Bagan, My Son next year

Two somewhat related stories on the changes to admission fees to Bagan in Myanmar and the My Son Sanctuary in Vietnam.

The My Son Sanctuary. Source: Viet Nam News 201512118
The My Son Sanctuary. Source: Viet Nam News 201512118

Bagan entry to be charged in kyat
Eleven Myanmar, 17 December 2015

My Son Sanctuary entrance fee to increase next year
Viet Nam News, 18 December 2015

The entry fee into Bagan heritage site will be collected in kyat from January 1, according to the Ministry of Culture.

The fee will be Ks25,000, equivalent to the current US$20.

The management board of the My Son Sanctuary in the central province of Quang Nam earlier this week announced to increase entrance fees by 40-50 per cent next year. The announcement has been sent to tour operators.

Full stories here and here.