Myanmar still needs technical assistance to save heritage

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Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150928

Myanmar’s Minister for Culture notes the ongoing challenges to put Bagan on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150928

Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150928

Bagan needs assistance to save heritage
TTR Weekly, 28 September 2015

Myanmar’s Minister for Culture says Bagan is facing challenges to preserve the area’s heritage.
Union Minister for Culture, U Aye Myint Kyu, told local media during a workshop, late last week, that technical expertise, communications and cultural understanding were crucial for Bagan if it is to save its heritage.

“There is a need to make sure heritage conservation management is in line with UNESCO’s policy, as well as taking on board experts from ASEAN member states in conserving Bagan’s cultural heritages and work for enlisting Bagan in the world heritage list.”

Bagan Archaeological Zone covers about 42 sq km (16 miles) and has more than 3,000 pagodas.

Full story here.

Pyu sites report increased numbers following Unesco listing

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Visitors to the Pyu cities of Sri Ksetra, Halin and Beikthano are on the rise since the three cities were collectively inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List.

Visitor numbers up at UNESCO site
Myanmar Times, 14 August 2015

Since being listed as a World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Sri Ksetra has seen a surge of visitors, reviving the town’s tourism industry, officials say. U Zaw Myo Kyaw, deputy director of the department of Archaeology and National Museum told The Myanmar Times yesterday that Sri Ksetra is the most popular among visitors to the three ancient Pyu cities. The other two, Halin and Beikthano, were also listed.

“Visitor numbers rose after the UNESCO listing. It’s an easy day trip from Yangon,” he said.

While U Zaw Myo Kyaw could not provide exact figures to show the increase since the sites were listed in June 2014, he said tourist numbers have increased from 600 in 2010-2011 to about 9000 in 2014-2015.

Full story here.

The looting of antiquities in Southeast Asia

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Last week Unesco organised a symposium on the illicit trafficking of antiquities (which I will write a little bit more about in a later post), here is a news writeup on it, although it doesn’t actually mention the symposium itself, it quotes a number of speakers there.

SE Asian artefacts under threat from looters: UN
Channel NewsAsia, 21 November 2014
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Reporting from the Unesco Symposium on the Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities

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Today and the rest of the week I am at the Unesco Symposium on the Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities here in Bangkok, representing my employer SEAMEO-SPAFA. I will be live tweeting the proceedings in my personal capacity on Twitter – follow me @seaarch

Work begins to nominate Bagan as a World Heritage site

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Ananda Temple, Bagan. Source: The Irrawady, 20140930

Myanmar is starting to look into listing the Bagan temple complex as a world heritage site, in consultation with Unesco and experts from around the world. Listing Bagan has a unique set of problems, as a number of temples have been improperly conserved over the years, and development for tourism has encroached in parts of the landscape.

Ananda Temple, Bagan. Source: The Irrawady, 20140930

Ananda Temple, Bagan. Source: The Irrawady, 20140930

Govt, Unesco to Study Bagan’s World Heritage List Nomination
The Irrawady, 30 September 2014
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UNESCO expresses concern over construction near Thang Long Citadel

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Construction near the Thang Long Citadel. Source: Viet Nam News 20140731

Construction of the National Assembly House beside the Thang Long Citadel in Hanoi has caused some concern with UNESCO, prompting the director of the World Heritage Centre to send a letter to Vietnam.

Construction near the Thang Long Citadel. Source: Viet Nam News 20140731

Construction near the Thang Long Citadel. Source: Viet Nam News 20140731

UNESCO concerned for citadel safety
Viet Nam News, 31 July 2014
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Pyu cities are Myanmar’s first World Heritage Site

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Ruins of Sri Ksetra. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140623

The 38th World Heritage Committee meeting is wrapping up in Doha, and this year we have inscribed the first World Heritage site for Myanmar: The Pyu cities of Halin, Sri Ksetra and Beikthano.

Ruins of Sri Ksetra. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140623

Ruins of Sri Ksetra. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140623

Pyu Ancient Cities
Unesco World Heritage List

Pyu Cities Snag Burma’s First Unesco World Heritage Listing
The Irrawaddy, 23 June 2014

Myanmar welcomes ancient cities entry on World Heritage list
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 24 June 2014
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