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Bagan restores quake-hit pagodas

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BAGAN, 27 December 2016: Major restoration work on 89 quake-damaged pagodas and Buddhist temples in Bagan will start next month.

Global New Light of Myanmar quoted Bagan’s department of archaeology, national museum library director, U Aung Aung Kyaw, saying in the first phase, will focus on 36 pagodas including Bagan’s well-known Sulamani and Ananda temples.

Restoration of 53 other important monuments will take place in the second stage, he said.

A total of 389 pagodas and temples, of 3,252 monuments standing on Bagan’s plain, were damaged when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar, 24 August.

Restoration of more than 200 temples was completed this month, the report said.

The entire project will take five years and will require fund raising from the private sector.

Bagan is an ancient city located in Mandalay Region, built between the 9th and 11th centuries, during an era when some 55 Buddhist kings ruled the Bagan Dynasty.

Myanmar’s World Heritage Site Committee plans to nominate the Bagan Archaeological Zone for UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2017, for consideration at the agency’s annual convention in 2019.

Officials claim the earthquake did not delay the application process with UNESCO. It is likely to be accepted within two years as earlier estimated.

Bagan welcomed about 250,000 tourists in 2015 and it is expects visits to the ancient city could reach 500,000 by 2018.

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