Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as chairman of the Myanmar National Cultural Central Committee, delivered a speech at its 5th meeting, held at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
In his speech, the Vice-President said that the Department of Archaeology and National Museum had repaired and renovated the damages at the 388 pagodas and temples in a major earthquake that hit Bagan area on 24 August 2016.
He continued to say that the renovation works at the Thatbyinnyu temple will be continued under the MoU between Myanmar and China to renovate historic buildings in the aftermath of the earthquake in the Bagan area. However, the works were delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Vice-President also discussed conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage at the Hanlin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra — and Bagan cultural heritage sites which have been recognized as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.
Myanmar has submitted the draft version of Nomination Dossier to UNESCO to recognize Mrauk-U in Rakhine State as a World Heritage Site and the complete version of this dossier will also be filed to the World Heritage Committee.
The full document of Nomination File for Myanmar’s Thanaka culture has also been submitted to the UNESCO for the registration as the first intangible cultural heritage of the country.
A total of 2,289 items from different regions and states have been registered in the Myanmar National Intangible Cultural Heritage List as a first entry in the list.
The Vice-President continued to speak about the existing law and bylaws for the conservation of cultural heritage, the establishment of private-owned museums, the Myanmar Museum Law, and the ongoing process to create a law relating to conservation of intangible cultural heritages of the country.
He also confirmed that guidelines had been developed to reopen pagodas and temples which were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Myanmar.
Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko, who is the vice-chairman of the central committee, reported on the conservation works of ancient cultural heritages, intangible cultural heritage, matters related to the national and ethnic national races museums and finalizing the draft Myanmar Museums Law.
U Kyaw Oo Lwin, Director-General of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, reported on the progress of renovation works at the earthquake-affected temples in Bagan, implementation of recommendations in the Nomination of the Bagan Report from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), works for Mrauk-U to be listed as a World Heritage Site, submission of the report (C1444) on conservation of Pyu ancient cities to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the list of ancient and historic buildings under the department, the list of antiques collected by giving cash awards, cooperation with international organizations, the draft version of Myanmar Museums Law, the draft of Intangible Cultural Heritage Conservation Law, development of Inwa area in Tada-U township of Mandalay Region into an archaeological park and the establishment of Kanbawza Yeiktha (Chinchaung Palace) as an art centre.
Deputy Minister for the Office of Union Government U Tin Myint, Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun, departmental officials, experts and representatives from relevant organizations discussed the conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and traditions of Myanmar.
The Vice-President gave comments and suggestions based on the discussions to ensure coordination after which the meeting was concluded.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)