Thailand to help Burma conserve ancient cities
|A woman cleans brickwork on the wall of the ancient royal palace at the center |
of the city of Sri Ksetra, near the banks of the Irrawaddy River
in Pegu Division [Credit: JPaing/The Irrawaddy]
“We have seen that Thailand has successfully conserved its ancient city, Ayothaya,” said a spokesman from Burma’s Archaeology Department, under the Ministry of Culture. “So we asked them to cooperate with us, and to help draw landscape designs for our Pyu ancient cities.”
UNESCO granted World Heritage status to the cities in June. They are home to the walled remains of sites built by the now-extinct Pyu people from the first to the ninth centuries AD.
But much work remains before the cities are ready for more tourists, according to Kyaw Lwin Oo, director-general of the Archaeology Department. He said maintenance of a road to Halin was under way, while new roads were being built to connect the three cities. A cultural museum is being upgraded and security has also been increased.
“We are still working on this project. But we need to do a lot more to catch up with Ayothaya in Thailand because Ayothaya has been a World Heritage Site for more than a decade,” he said.
Efforts are also under way to build telecommunications towers in Sri Ksetra and Beikthano.
Local residents have been told not to tend their animals or build new homes in the three cities. They have also been warned not to steal carvings from the ruins to sell on the black market, which has been a problem in the past.
UNESCO is monitoring the conservation of the cities, with progress reports due every two years.
Author: Yan Paing | Source: The Irrawaddy [August 29, 2014]