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Myanmar strives to enlist ancient city as cultural heritage

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Yangon: Myanmar is striving to enlist Bagan, a famous ancient city with thousands of religious edifices and pagodas, as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Amid efforts for listing the Bagan Archaeological Zone as the World Cultural Heritage, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed some religious edifices and pagodas last August and the restoration works are being carried out by experts to maintain their original shape, form and value, reports Xinhua news agency.

The zone was enlarged from 42 to 62 square miles, according to the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture.

Geographically, Bagan comprises two areas — Upper Bagan and Lower Bagan.

The city was established by descendants of Pyu and attained rapid development after Buddhism had flourished. Then, stupas, temples, caves, tunnels and monasteries of different sizes and designs were constructed by the royal families and people around Bagan and Nyaung U between 11th and 13th centuries.

With over 3,000 Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas and monuments compacted into one area, Bagan is a home to Buddhist architectures signifying the unique morals adorning interior walls of the religious edifices.

In 2012, Director General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unseco) Irina Bokova paid a visit to Bagan for discussing the future working process and the relation between Myanmar archaeological teams and UNESCO.

The tentative step of cooperating Myanmar’s archaeological team and Unesco experts has marked the starting point in the creation of unique value of ancient city Bagan to be listed as World Cultural Heritage.

Three other Pyu ancient cities of Myanmar — Hanlin, Beikthano and Sri Kestra were selected by the as cultural heritage sites in June 2014.

IANS

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