People’s Republic of China and Myanmar had signed an agreement on renovation of Thavanyu Pagoda which is the highest height of Buddha’s image in Bagan, according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture.
A signing ceremony to renovate the Thavanyu Pagoda in Bagan was held at the prayer hall of the Pagoda on September 22nd.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck 25 kilometres west of Chauk Township in Magway Region on August 24, 2016, and damaged hundreds of historic pagodas and religious buildings in Bagan, Mandalay Region.
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism announced on September 8 that 18 temples and pagodas were barred to visitors in Bagan while under restoration after last month's earthquake.
The prohibited pagodas included the popular Thavanyu, Pyathatgyi, Shwesandaw, Taunguni, Shwekyaung and Kyaungyinyima, the ministry said.
The Pyathard Gyi pagoda was last renovated by the Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple from Singapore, with contributions of Singaporean Buddhists, in 1998.
Aung Aung Kyaw, Director of the Bagan Division at the Department of Archaeology National Museum and Library said last year “The maintenance team approves renovations only after it is sure that the renovation will not damage the original art.”
“In a Buddhist country like ours, it is hard to forbid the repainting of Buddha images. Many other Buddha statues have been repainted either by the department [or private donors]. This doesn’t hinder the country’s effort to get Bagan recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.”
In Bagan there are about 250,000 square feet of murals, according to researchers.