Suu Kyi criticises restoration of Myanmar temples

Myanmar’s most famous political figure Aung San Suu Kyi was recently quoted decrying the poor restoration of the ancient temples of at Bagan, where conservation efforts by the government are seen to be not up to international standards and catered towards attracting the tourist dollar rather than inherent heritage value.

photo credit: Victor SCY

Suu Kyi criticizes restoration of Burma temples
AP, via Asian Correspondent, 12 July 2011

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday decried restoration work on Burma’s centuries-old Bagan temples for not meeting international standards.

Burma’s application in 1996 for World Heritage status for the temples was rejected by the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO because the restoration did not use original designs and materials.

“It’s so sad to see that the temples are not properly restored. Restoration of the temples is not up to international standards,” Suu Kyi told reporters Monday.

Her visit to Bagan last week was her first trip out of Yangon since being released from house arrest last year.

Bagan, also known as Pagan, has more than 2,800 monuments built between the 10th and 14th centuries. The central Burma site is considered one of Southeast Asia’s major historical landmarks, with Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Indonesia’s Borobodur temple.

Full story here.

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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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