Published on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 18:35
The entrance gate of Beikthano Cultural Heritage Area (Photo - EMG)
President Thein Sein and Unesco's director-general talked about conserving historical heritages in Pyu ancient cities, Mrauk U, and Yangon during a meeting in Paris last week.
At the meeting, both sides discussed about submitting the nomination of the three Pyu cities to the Unesco's World Heritage List, conserving ancient heritages in Mrauk U, restoring colonial buildings in Yangon and preserving cultures and traditions of ethnic groups, according to the news release from the President's Office.
President Thein Sein was quoted as saying in Unesco news release that “the government is trying its best to preserve Myanmar’s rich cultural heritage but we lack conservation technologies to do so.”
“You are a country so rich in cultural heritage, not to have a site inscribed on the World Heritage List is a loss for the whole of humanity,” Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO was quoted as saying in the news release.
“This heritage is a challenge to protect and preserve, and it is very important to train experts and specialists,” she said.
The three Pyu cities of Hanlin, Beikthano, Hanlin and Tharekhittra were built along the Ayeyarwady River between the 1st to the 9th centuries AD, before Bagan era. Myanmar first submitted the proposal to register the three cities in the World Heritage List in 1996 and re-submitted it last September.
Historical heritage experts have pointed out that colonial buildings in downtown Yangon are a major attraction for tourists and can give opportunities to bring foreign incomes so the maintenance of these buildings have become crucial.
The Yangon City Development Committee currently has a list of 189 heritage buildings but there are also other historical buildings that are privately-owned. By maintaining these buildings and reusing them, the city hopes to become an attractive metropolis among the international cities by 2040, according to the Strategic Urban Development Plan of the Greater Yangon.
The Daily Eleven have earlier reported that the ancient cities of Bagan and Innwa in the Mandalay region would be submitted for inclusion to UNESCO's World Heritage List, according to officials from Myanmar's Department of Archaeology.
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