Will UNESCO Finally Recognize Bagan As World Heritage Site?

News in Asia
Will UNESCO Finally Recognize Bagan As World Heritage Site?

Myanmar's application on listing the ancient capital of Bagan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site will be considered during the World Heritage Committee session in Baku, Azerbaijan, on June 30–July 10 this year.

Myanmar was trying to get Bagan included into the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996. The application then was declined due to the fact that the site did not meet all the requirements for the inclusion into the list, e.g. detailed records of the ancient structures in the heritage zone were lacking, and there was no conservation plan presented to the committee.

Today, two decades later, the members of UNESCO’s International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMS) agreed that Bagan and its monuments deserve being listed as a world heritage site. Yet regarding the efforts Bagan made for being listed, the same remarks were made on the management plan for Bagan region.

To be included into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, every applicant should meet at least one of UNESCO's six criteria. Bagan meets three of them. Currently there are three ancient cities in Myanmar listed by UNESCO. They are Tha Yay Khit Ta Yar, Hanlin, and Beikthano, all included nto the list in 2014.

While Bagan is Myanmar's prime tourist attraction, less than 300,000 travellers visit the area every year. For comparision, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a UNESCO listed site, attracts over 5 million tourists yearly. 

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