Bagan UNESCO bid to be submitted this month

The Bagan Archaeological Zone.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone.

The Myanmar government is expected to submit an application for the Bagan Archaeological Zone to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the end of this month, state media reported yesterday.

“We are now ready to submit an application to UNESCO by the end of this January. The World Heritage Site Committee will bring up the subject for deliberation at UNESCO’s 2019 World Heritage Site convention,” said Kyaw Oo Lwin, director general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum, and Library.

The application has been in the works since 2014.

Previous bids by the Myanmar government were rejected because of shoddy, anachronistic restorations conducted under the previous, military government.

However, after Bagan was hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Aug. 2016 and hundreds of ancient pagodas were damaged or destroyed, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi instructed the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs to take advantage of the situation by repairing and restoring the pagodas more carefully.

Shortly after the repairs began, a UNESCO official said that the Bagan Archaeological Zone was “very likely” to be accepted as a World Heritage Site.

Myanmar’s existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the three ancient Pyu cities of Halin, Beikthano, and Sri Ksetra.

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