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Call to Conserve Bagan Temples in Myanmar

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


KYAUKSE TOWNSHIP, MYANMAR—Two pagodas built by King Anawrahta during the Bagan period are in dire need of repair, according to architect Tampawaddy U Win Maung. The Sawyel Shwegugyi Pagoda, which sits in a forest, maintains its original walls, but one fifth of the concrete floral designs on its roof have collapsed. The Magyitaw Shwegugyi Pagoda sits on the Panlaung River. Its banks have eroded and half of the temple could fall into the water. “When repairing pagodas, people mostly consider it from a religious perspective. When the concrete is damaged, they never try to repair it—they just peel it off and put new concrete on. This perspective focuses on renewal, while the cultural perspective is focused on preserving old things as they are,” explained U Win Maung.