State Counsellor calls for ensuring transparency in cultural heritage conservation attempts in Bagan

Cover 72
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi inspects damaged parts at Setanagyi Pagoda in the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Photo: MNA

Historic areas being restored in Bagan need to ensure a cent-per-cent accounting transparency to achieve success, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told local authorities in her tour of Bagan yesterday.
The State Counsellor inspected damaged pagodas in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, which was hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on 24 August, damaging 258 vaunted temples, 104 pagodas and 13 brick monasteries. The State Counsellor called for ensuring that each edifice not lose ancient artistic value when the damaged pagodas are restored.
Conservation work on the damaged pagodas should take the opinions of the people and effectiveness of the work into consideration, she added.
“Conservation of cultural heritage does not mean conserving lifeless edifices and items and but it means conservation of things which are connected with the history and culture of our country,” she said. “ In our history, there are things we can take pride in and there are things which are not worth taking pride and from which we should take lessons.”
Concerning the conservation of the country’s cultural heritage, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also gave her strongly-held opinion over whether visitors should be allowed to climb the temples to view sunrises and sunsets.
“Sunset and sun rise viewing on the temples can cause damage to the cultural heritage, and that is not suitable in the long-run and should be banned in the future,” she said.
She has suggested to build an infrastructure in another suitable place for sunset and sunrise viewing.
The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone, where about 3,000 ancient pagodas and religious edifices can be seen in one place, has been in existence for more than 1,000 years and is not only the pride of all Myanmar nationals but also a major attraction for foreigners across the world. In a manner of speaking, the major earthquake that hit the region on 24 August was felt worldwide.
During her tour, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi discussed several issues related to conservation of  cultural heritage in Bagan, including current efforts for the conservation and designation of zones in Bagan and preparation for becoming a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Previous administrations have constructed numerous new temples and pagodas, in some cases building on top of old structures, or reconstructing them completely, which has had an adverse effect on Bagan becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to archaeological officials.—Myanmar News Agency

Share this post
Hot News
Hot News