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International partners pledge support for rehabilitation of Bagan

Credit: Minglarzed

BAGAN – 15 February 2017: International partners pledged to support rehabilitation efforts in Bagan at a global conference convened in the historic capital by Myanmar, China and UNESCO.

Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture, HE Thura U Aung Ko, lauded the conference as being “the most beneficial international cooperation to date in our efforts to restore and repair cultural heritage in Bagan damaged by the earthquake.” He further noted his appreciation for the support of UNESCO and cooperating countries in Myanmar’s efforts to list Bagan as a World Heritage site.

As a gesture of China’s commitment to Bagan, HE Mr Hong Liang, Ambassador of China to Myanmar, announced a donation of US$1 million to fund a comprehensive conservation campaign at the site.

Ms Min Jeong Kim, Head of UNESCO in Myanmar, called for all conservation efforts to be better coordinated and adhere to international standards and conservation norms. UNESCO has prepared rehabilitation guidelines, which have been endorsed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. A detailed checklist with required procedures for planning and implementing restoration work will also be put in place.

The 6.8 Richter earthquake, which struck on 24 August 2016, damaged 389 stupas and temples at Bagan. Damage to murals has also been noted at more than 150 monuments so far.

Myanmar authorities, in cooperation with national and international experts, conducted assessments, documentation and undertook emergency stabilization measures from August to December 2016.

Damaged murals and decorative works were consolidated, while detached fragments of monuments were salvaged. Reinforced protection of monuments is needed in preparation for the upcoming monsoon season. Restoration work is now being planned for monuments identified as high priority in terms of heritage value and conservation condition.

Myanmar plans to nominate Bagan to the World Heritage register in 2018. The site, a sacred monumental landscape on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, includes over 3,000 Buddhist stupas, temples and monasteries dating back to the 11th century.


Media queries: Noel Boivin, UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer,