A pilot project to preserve urban heritage in Yangon will be conducted with the assistance of the Italian government, it was announced at a press conference held at Strand Hotel yesterday.
A ceremony to launch phase 1 of the tourism and cultural heritage project was attended by Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, H.E. Pier Giorgio Aliberti, the Italian Ambassador to Myanmar and officials from Yangon Heritage Trust.
The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) will contribute 180,000 euros for preservation activities and the tender-winning Yangon Heritage Trust will be responsible for its implementation.
U Kyan Dyne Aung, senior programme officer for Yangon Heritage Trust, said they will draw up guidelines to modernise the city without hurting its cultural heritage, set up a coordination mechanism to attract international organisations that specialise in urban planning, collect data on heritage buildings, and write a proposal after review of existing rules and laws relating to heritage protection.
According to a survey conducted by Yangon Heritage Trust, there were 400 to 600 heritage buildings. Of them, six to eight unused state-owned buildings will be submitted to the government, which will select two and preserve and renovate the buildings so that they can be used for public welfare.
In addition, area plans will also be drawn up to effectuate the development in areas within Yangon.
Tourism and Cultural Heritage – Phase 1 started in September and is slated to end in August 2018.
“There is a rush to carry out the above stages”, said U Kyan Dyne Aung.
Based on surveys, the Yangon Region government will take the lead to implement Yangon urban heritage preservation activities.
“We could do more, you should do more. If you preserve your cultural heritage, people will come to see what it is.
People don’t want to see this place is older.
You have something unique and you have to preserve it”, said H.E. Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Italian Ambassador to Myanmar.
In addition to this project, AICS in Myanmar is financing and implementing within the cultural sector several initiatives, including interventions of institutional support to the safeguarding of the monument sites and their inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list, projects promoting university-level training courses on the topics of tourist planning development and responsible tourism, and
initiatives supporting the valorisation of cultural patrimony.
By May Thet Hnin