October 19, 2017

Restoration of quake-damaged pagodas in Bagan to commence in January

A woman walking past a damaged pagoda after an earthquake in Bagan, on 25 August. Photo: Reuters
A woman walking past a damaged pagoda after an earthquake in Bagan, on 25 August. Photo: Reuters

Pagodas and stupas damaged by an earthquake in August have been protected not to become further harmed. The protection will also prepare the structures for individual, cutting-edge renovation work that will ensure each edifice will not lose ancient artistic value, said U Soe Tint, head of Administration Office, Nyaung-U district.
“Every pagoda nearly in the condition of dilapidation was maintained by supporting it with poles and by covering it under shelter to protect against water and rain damage. As for Mingalar Cetiya, scaffolding was quickly erected because its raised platform on the upper part of the Cetiya became cracked.”
Departmental officials, architects and experts surveyed the sites and collected different views and opinions. Renovation work will be carried out in three prioritized steps, in consultation with different opinions, it was said.
One expert said that it was necessary to maintain ancient artwork and consider what effect repair would have on the buildings.
There are 389 stupas and pagodas that have been approved for repair. Out of this number, 36 were listed in high priority to be renovated, 53 as second priority and 300 as third priority. A diamond-studded post above the vane of one pagoda that fell to ground will also be repaired. It will be scrutinised to allow former donors to donate to the repair.
In addition to the 389 pagodas in Bagan, 3,133 pagodas and stupas in the greater Bagan region were also ruined by the earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter Scale at 5pm on August 24.

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