Ap­pli­ca­tion for Mrauk-u as World Her­itage site

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

An ap­pli­ca­tion for Mrauk-u in Rakhine State will be sub­mit­ted to UNESCO to list the an­cient arche­o­log­i­cal cen­tre as a World Her­itage site, said the Re­li­gious Af­fairs and Cul­ture Min­is­ter.

MYAN­MAR is con­sid­er­ing sev­eral an­cient cul­tural sites, in­clud­ing Mrauku, for list­ing as a United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) World Her­itage site.

An ap­pli­ca­tion for Mrauk-u in Rakhine State will be sub­mit­ted to UNESCO, said Thura U Aung Ko, Union Min­is­ter for Re­li­gious Af­fairs and Cul­ture, on Novem­ber 8.

The ini­tia­tive was autho­rised by the Pres­i­dent’s of­fice and rel­e­vant com­mit­tees and sev­eral sub-com­mit­tees have been es­tab­lished for the task.

The in­clu­sion of Mrauk-u on the UNESCO’S World Her­itage list was first dis­cussed on May 17, un­der­lin­ing the ben­e­fits of sys­tem­atic man­age­ment of the site by part­ner­ing with in­ter­na­tional en­ti­ties for con­ser­va­tion of cul­tural her­itage.

With the co­op­er­a­tion of Rakhine State gov­ern­ment, ex­perts and ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees, the ap­pli­ca­tions is hoped to be sub­mit­ted at UNESCO World Her­itage con­fer­ence in June 2018.

Pre­lim­i­nary work for the con­form­ity of the dossier to UNESCO’S stan­dards al­ready started on Au­gust 21.

“In or­der for Mrauk-u to be la­belled as a World Her­itage Sites, re­spec­tive com­mit­tees, sub-com­mit­tees, and groups are car­ry­ing out works which need to be con­tin­ued,” the Union Min­is­ter said.

For now, there are no plans to nom­i­nate the an­cient city, Ta­gaung in Thabeikkyin town­ship of Man­dalay Re­gion in the list of World Her­itage, he added.

“Ta­gaung is more an­cient than Ba­gan; it’s over 1,000 years old. Its ex­is­tence is nearly equal to the time of Tharay Khit Taya. There are very few ev­i­dences to prove its au­then­tic­ity. We have to con­duct re­search with his­to­ri­ans and ar­chae­ol­o­gists by do­ing field study, which costs a lot,” he said.

“It is safer if they re­main un­der­neath the ground. When Myan­mar be­comes rich and de­velop, we will re­veal them ac­cord­ing to their his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance. To know which site is im­por­tant, re­searchers need to start do­ing re­search on Ta­gaung,” he added.

The De­part­ment of Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and Na­tional Mu­seum short­listed sev­eral Myan­mar won­ders to ac­cede to UNESCO’S World Her­itage. Those in­clude Padalin Cave, Inle lake, Han­lin, Beik­thano and Tharay Khit Taya, Mon an­cient ci­ties such as Bago and Han­thawaddy, the monas­ter­ies of Kon­baung pe­riod such as Ohn Tone, Sale, Pha Khan Gyi, Pha Khan Nge, Lel Kine, Saku and Shwe Kyaung and Ba­gan, among oth­ers.

Three Pyu’s an­cient ci­ties have al­ready been recog­nised in June 22, 2014. Cur­rent ap­pli­ca­tions fo­cus on for Ba­gan and Mrauk-u cul­tural her­itage dis­tricts and Sh­wedagon Pagoda.

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