Frescoes being repaired in Bagan

Eleven Myanmar, 21 April 2017

Thein Lwin, deputy director-general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, said: “The frescoes in the Myinkaba cave pagoda are one of the finest from the Bagan era. Thanks to the Unesco [UN cultural body], the frescoes look shinier than they were before. We will clean and take documents of the frescoes. The detailed work can take up to 10 days.”

The earthquake did not affect the frescoes in the cave but the ones in the stupa, a dome-shaped structure, above it.

Kyi Lin, a fresco expert at the department, said: “We worked together with the UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] to maintain the Myinkaba frescoes in 1983. We contracted Unesco in 1975 after a 6.5-magnitude quake hit Bagan in July that year. Then we signed another contract in 1981. Then I went to Italy for six months to study frescoes. There shouldn’t be a gap between the wall and the masonry. You can find it out by knocking the surface of the relief. If a hollow sound returns, you know there is a gap and that it cannot withstand a tremor.”

Source: Frescoes being repaired in Bagan | Eleven Myanmar

Bagan’s sunset viewing towers not ready

Budget constraints mean that only one of the five planned sunset viewing platform will be ready by September 1.

The ban on sunset viewing from ancient pagodas in Bagan in the coming tourist season is still uncertain, pending the completion of new viewing sites, a Mandalay Hluttaw representative said.

Source: Bagan’s sunset viewing towers not ready

K50 million approved for road repairs in Bagan

Road repairs are good, but… only 4% of the fees goes back to developing the Bagan area?!

THE Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library (Bagan branch) has approved a request for K50 million from the Bagan Regional Development Association (BRDA) to repair and upgrade roads near the pagodas in the archaeological zone.

Source: K50 million approved for road repairs in Bagan

Billboard guidelines for Bagan cultural zone

Regulations for the erection of billboards in Bagan are being finalised.

Guidelines for the erection of billboards in the Bagan cultural zone will be drawn up to ensure that they conform to the structure of ancient buildings in the area, said Daw Yu Yu Lin, coordinator with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Bagan’s tourism development project.

Source: Billboard guidelines for Bagan cultural zone

Sun sets on Bagan temple climbing | Frontier Myanmar

The ‘experts’ that are quoted seem to be short-sighted tourism professionals :/

Sun sets on Bagan temple climbing

Experts have also urged the government to thoroughly think through any plans to ban visitors from climbing the pagodas.

“If climbing on the temples in Bagan is banned without due consideration for practical alternatives, it could have a significant negative impact on Myanmar’s tourism industry,” said Mr Marcus Allender, business development director for Yangon-based Pegu Travels.

“Bagan is well known as the jewel in Myanmar’s crown and both climbing the temples and the views afforded are a big part of the experience. So far convincing proposals for viewing that would satisfy the large numbers required have been thin on the ground.”

Source: Sun sets on Bagan temple climbing | Frontier Myanmar

Government parties consider Bagan residents’ suggestions to the draft heritage law

The Archaeology, National Museum and Library Department will meet with MPs from Bagan and Nay Pyi Taw, and the Attorney-General, to consider Bagan residents’ suggestions for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage draft law.

Source: Suggestions for Bagan’s heritage draft law deliberated

Bagan temples: 224 to finish repairs before Thingyan, and 50 more after

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

Hotels in Bagan’s protected zone in limbo

The Myanmar government is deciding between granting special exemptions or demolishing some 25 hotels that have been illegally built in the protected area of Bagan.

Hoteliers Left in Limbo in Bagan
The Irrawady, 22 August 2016

The government remains undecided on whether to grant official approval to unsanctioned hotels that were built in Bagan’s famed archaeological zone without the permission of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture.

Existing laws prohibit commercial buildings in Bagan’s archaeological zone but for 25 hotels that have already been built, the ministry is debating whether to allow or demolish them, said Aye Ko Ko, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, at a press conference on the ministry’s 100-day plan in Naypyidaw on Friday.

“According to the law, hotels, motels and guesthouses can’t be built in archaeological zones unless the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture approves. This approval cannot be authorized by local authorities or our department,” said Aye Ko Ko.

Full story here.