via The Irrawaddy, 19 October 2018: Another tragic news of vandalism, this time from Mrauk-U. A dozen statues from Laymyethnar Pagoda were smashed by unknown vandals.
Source: Mrauk-U Archaeological site Facebook group
Authorities and conservationists in Rakhine State suspect local vandals for the damage of nearly a dozen Buddha images inside a 14th century temple Wednesday night in the ancient Arakanese royal capital of Mrauk-U.
Eleven of 28 Buddha images inside Sin Cha Seik Ward’s Lay Myat Hnar Temple were damaged, said Daw Khin Than, who chairs a government-supported conservation group in Mrauk-U.
From the 15th to 19th centuries Mrauk-U was the seat of a succession of Arakanese kings who at their height controlled much of modern-day western Myanmar, including Rakhine State, and eastern Bangladesh. Much of the ancient city remains well preserved and some 380 historic temples are scattered among the lush hills of northern Rakhine.
Source: Nearly a Dozen Buddha Images Damaged Inside Ancient Rakhine Temple
via Myanmar Times, 10 November 2017:
Myanmar is considering several ancient cultural sites, including Mrauk-U, for listing as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site.
An application for Mrauk-U in Rakhine State will be submitted to UNESCO, said Thura U Aung Ko, Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture, on November 8.
The initiative was authorised by the President’s office and relevant committees and several sub-committees have been established for the task.
Source: Mrauk-U eyes listing as UNESCO World Heritage site | The Myanmar Times
The Guardian, 11 July 2017:
With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold
When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful kingdom and one of the richest cities in Asia.
Up to the 18th century, it was a vital trading port for rice, ivory, elephants, tree sap and deer hide, cotton, slaves, horses, spices and textiles from India, Persia and Arabia.
In the centuries since, it crumbled into a backwater town in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state. But the city where Christians, Muslims and Buddhists once lived in harmony can still be glimpsed in its hundreds of ruined temples, fortifications and storehouses – mostly ignored for more than 100 years.
Source: With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold | Julian Hattem | Global development | The Guardian
Besides Bagan, Mrauk U in Rakhine state is the next cultural property that Myanmar is planning to nominate for World Heritage listing.
Myanmar aims for Mrauk U to join UNESCO list
TTG Asia, 11 February 2015
Myanmar prepares Mrauk U for UNESCO heritage list [Link no longer active]
Mizzima, 11 February 2015
MYANMAR’S archaeological zone of Mrauk U in Rakhine State is preparing to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Culture.
Mrauk U contains some 200 Buddhist monuments such as temples, stupas and monasteries mostly built in the 15th and 16th centuries AD. It is also known for its old temples with wall paintings of Indian influence.
Said Kyaw Lwin Oo, director general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library under the ministry: “We are working on GIS database and digital mapping in Mrauk U. Nandaw Yar Gone will be converted into an archaeological park.
“We will also maintain the first, second and third brick walls of Nandaw Yar Gone, as well as the north wall of Shi Thaung Stupa. Maintenance works funded by Rakhine state have started.”
Full stories here and here [Link no longer active].
Archaeologists in Bangladesh have finished excavating a ship thought to belong to Rakhaine settlers who originated from Arakan in Myanmar.
Work starts to salvage historic boat
The Daily Star, 07 January 2013
Ancient ‘Rakhaine’ boat to be moved to safer place soon
The Daily Star, 09 January 2013