AttractionsThe listing recognises the central Myanmar site after it was first nominated nearly 25 years ago.

Myanmar’s ancient city Bagan receives UNESCO certification

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Myanmar Bagan 190708
Myanmar’s ancient capital Bagan has been officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo Credit: ImpaKPro/Getty Images

The listing recognises the importance of the central Myanmar site, which encompasses more than 3,500 stupas, temples, monasteries and other structures built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Myanmar’s ancient capital of Bagan has joined the ranks of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Saturday after nearly a quarter of a century since the complex of temples was first nominated for listing.  

The listing recognises the importance of the central Myanmar site, which encompasses more than 3,500 stupas, temples, monasteries and other structures built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

The proposal was approved during a meeting of the UN’s cultural body in Baku, Azerbaijan, Reuters reported.

The body noted that Myanmar had reversed some “inappropriate conservation interventions”, and had recognised Bagan as a historically significant site and place of continuing Buddhist worship.

Bagan was first nominated as a World Heritage Site in 1995, but the military junta that ruled the country at the time was accused of ignoring experts’ advice on restoration efforts and the nomination was rejected.

A recent 2016 earthquake has also damaged the site, affecting nearly 200 temples.

Myanmar has renewed efforts to list the site since a transition from military rule began in 2011.

“Bagan is living heritage, having endured all forms of challenges for more than a thousand years,” said Myanmar diplomat Kyaw Zeya, speaking on behalf of the Myanmar delegation at the Baku meeting.

“Today we are celebrating the joyous moment of the successful inscription of Bagan in the World Heritage List. Afterwards we will continue our efforts on conservation and management of Bagan so that this treasured heritage will remain for another thousand years.”


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