After years of effort, Bagan, the archaeological zone and major tourist attraction in central Myanmar, was finally inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the World Heritage Committee’s 43th session. Bagan, a major tourist attraction in central Myanmar, houses more than 3,000 pagodas and temples dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries.
Despite being inscribed on the prestigious list, many challenges lie ahead for local and foreign experts, government institutions and even local residents. “This is just the beginning. We will face many challenges ahead in the conservation work [needed] to maintain the value of the heritage site while taking control of the social development impacts,” said U Sun Oo, an architect on a team tasked with conserving the ancient temples and pagodas of Bagan.
In the past, the ancient buildings were repaired according to common local procedures that did not meet international standards for heritage preservation, decreasing Bagan’s value as a heritage site, he said.