Donors asked to come forward to help foot cost of post-quake repairs
DONORS willing to fund the repair of more than 200 pagodas in Bagan damaged by last August’s earthquake are still being identified, officials say. U Aung Kaw, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library in Bagan, called on donors who have funded the upkeep of the ancient religious buildings to come forward by December 15.
The government is asking them to contribute toward the repair of buildings categorised as third priority. More seriously damaged buildings will be repaired on a more urgent basis.
“We will begin the restoration of more than 200 of the Bagan pagodas damaged by the earthquake soon. We’ve been waiting for the original donors of those pagodas to come forward, and we invite them to do so by December 15 if they want to contribute to the cost of repairs,” he said.
A total of 224 pagodas were classed as third priority, whose repair would be entrusted to private donors.
“The original donors gave their names to be listed at the Office of Archaeology in Bagan. Some gave their names at the Nyaung-U district administrative office, and some at the Department of Archaeology in Nay Pyi Taw. We don’t yet have a consolidated list,” he said. “We’ll establish how many donors there are by mid-December, and seek additional funding from other donors to pay for the repair of the other pagodas.”
The department has listed 36 pagodas as the most heavily damaged, after the powerful 6.8-magnitude quake. Another 53 have been designated as second priority for repairs. Of the remaining 300 that suffered damage, 224 pagodas have been supported by donors.
Nyaung-U resident U Thaung Hlaing said, “I hope they can do the repairs quickly, and without making the kinds of mistakes they made before. It makes me sad to see the pagodas damaged.”
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar