Shwedagon Pagoda in line for UNESCO recognition

The Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the Yangon skyline
The Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the Yangon skyline

The famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon could be inscribed on to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Irrawaddy news site reports that the ancient golden temple is one of three sites expected to be nominated by the Myanmar government for inclusion on the conservation list in the coming years, along with Bagan and Mrauk U.

Bagan will be the first to be nominated, with an official submission expected in September. Mrauk U, the ancient town in western Myanmar, and the Shwedagon Pagoda are then expected to be nominated in the subsequent two years, followed by a series of other sites.

“We have invited international experts. We plan to nominate Rakhine state’s Mrauk U in 2018 and Shwedagon Pagoda in 2019. We’ll later nominate Khakaborazi, Inle Lake, Indawgyi Lake, Inwa, Mandalay and Sagaing,” Myanmar’s Minister of Religious Affairs & Culture, U Aung Ko, was reported saying.

Bagan is likely to be the first site nominated
Bagan is likely to be the first site nominated

Plans for the inscription of Bagan on the UNESCO list have been long in the pipeline, with an initial submission in 1996 having been rejected by the UN’s cultural body. This will be the first time however, that the Shwedagon Pagoda has been nominated.

Reputed to date back more than 2,500 years, the Shwedagon Pagoda is thought to be the world’s oldest Buddhist temple, although others believe it to be more recent, at between 1,100 and 1,500 years-old. Its 99-metre-high golden stupa dominates the Yangon skyline.

At present Myanmar only has one UNESCO World Heritage listing; the Pyu Ancient Cities, which include the remains of three walled and moated cities from the Pyu Kingdom.

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