Myanmar: Ancient Ruins Face Ruin

'Disneyfied' restoration efforts and plans to raise a tower over Bagan, a 1000-year old ancient temple city in Myanmar, faces international criticism.
December 3, 2003, 1pm PST | Connie Chung
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"Defying an international outcry, Myanmar's military rulers have begun building a nearly 200-foot-tall viewing tower amid the ancient temple city of Bagan, one of Asia's greatest archaeological sites." The junta claims that the planned 16-story tower is an effort to protect the ruins, which are still used by many worshippers, from damage by pedestrian traffic. Academics and UNESCO officials, who have objected to the tower, have also criticized the military junta on their restoration efforts, which have been described as "an incongruous spectacle of faux antique temples made with new bricks and cement, housing brown-painted plaster Buddha statues. Replastering in one temple has given the four-armed Hindu god Vishnu two extra arms."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, December 2, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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