Future of Myanmar temples worries Asian art conservationists (Burma/Myanmar)

A travelogue through the archaeological site of Bagan (Pagan) in Burma, where an uncooperative military junta and the effects of commercialisation have led to shoddy and inaccurate restoration works on the numerous Buddhist stupas there.

3 September 2006 (San Antonio Express) – A travelogue through the archaeological site of Bagan (Pagan) in Burma, where an uncooperative military junta and the effects of commercialisation have led to shoddy and inaccurate restoration works on the numerous Buddhist stupas there.

San Antonio Express, 3 September 2006

Future of Myanmar temples worries Asian art conservationists

The delicate beauty of Bagan, unfortunately, is under dire threat because it lacks something Angkor Wat, for instance, has — a World Heritage Site designation from UNESCO, whose decades-long efforts on Bagan came to a halt in recent years. The unwillingness of Myanmar’s ruling junta of generals to turn over preservation and restoration work to the international body, which had created a detailed plan to conserve and protect one of the world’s great cultural heritages, proved too great a barrier to surpass. Now many Asian art conservationists and art lovers around the world fear for Bagan’s future.

There are no signs the generals plan to open their relations with the wider world. Indeed, there have been clear signs that unskilled work has been carried out at the [tag]Bagan archaeological site[/tag] that could jeopardize its integrity and also open the door to commercialization that could further threaten its future.


Related Books:
Ancient Pagan by D. Stadtner
Bagan by B. Broman
Ancient Pagan by D. Stadtner
Cultural Sites of Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia b. J. Dumarcay and M. Smithies

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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