Myanmar govt to help restore quake-hit pagodas

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw (centre) visiting a damaged temple in Bagan on Thursday. The quake destroyed 241 Bagan pagodas.
Myanmar President Htin Kyaw (centre) visiting a damaged temple in Bagan on Thursday. The quake destroyed 241 Bagan pagodas.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

YANGON • Myanmar President Htin Kyaw has pledged government assistance to renovate and preserve ancient stupas and pagodas damaged by a powerful earthquake that struck the central part of Myanmar on Wednesday, an official report said yesterday.

Assessing the damage in the archaeological site in Bagan on Thursday, the President called for protecting the heritage of ancient objects, stressing that the renovation should maintain the original features with the help of foreign experts.

According to updated reports, the quake destroyed 241 pagodas in Bagan. Visitors have been denied access to the damaged site, with security measures being imposed there.

Meanwhile, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi urged the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs not to make haphazard repairs to the toppled spires of the pagodas but to draw up a project plan with technical help from the Unesco World Heritage Centre. The Yangon office of Unesco has reportedly deployed experts to assess the damage.

At least three people have been killed and six others injured in Wednesday's 6.8-magnitude powerful earthquake.The quake jolted most parts of the country, including Naypyitaw and Yangon.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Myanmar govt to help restore quake-hit pagodas'. Print Edition | Subscribe