Hotels Near Bagan Temples Can Stay Put For UNESCO Bid, Minister Says
— Religious Affairs and Culture Minister U Aung Ko said hotels will not
have to be moved out of the Bagan Archeological Zone in order for
Myanmar to nominate it for approval as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
said the ministry would submit recently approved amendments to the
Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Regions Law to UNESCO,
the UN’s culture and heritage body, by February. The amendments seek
Bagan’s nomination as a World Heritage Site without having to move
existing hotels out of the archeological zone or prevent new hotels from
going up inside.
Bagan is home to some 3,000 pagodas and temples
dating from the 9th to 13th centuries —when the Kingdom of Bagan ruled
over much of lowland Myanmar — and is considered Myanmar’s main tourist
draw, on par with Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Since 1994, the country
has sought to register the area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But its
initial application was rejected for a lack of management plans
addressing sub-standard, inauthentic restorations and because of
controversial hotel developments in the archaeological zone completed
under previous governments.
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