U.S. Embassy Announces Continued Support for Conservation of Shwe Nandaw Monastery in Mandalay

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2019

Yangon, Myanmar – The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce $300,000 of continued to support for the ongoing conservation efforts at the Shwe Nandaw Kyaung Monastery in Mandalay.  This brings the total U.S. investment in the conservation of this important cultural site to $1.1 million.  This support is through the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

“We respect Myanmar’s rich cultural heritage,” Ambassador Scot Marciel said, speaking about the project.  He added, “U.S. support for the conservation of this historic monastery will help ensure that local communities benefit and visitors can continue to appreciate this important cultural site.”

In addition to preserving this historic site for future generations in Myanmar, through this project the U.S. Embassy is providing training for local craftsmen, students and tour guides. “We are proud to be conserving one of the most visited tourist sites in the country,” Ambassador Marciel said.

With U.S. support, local craftsmen have been working with World Monuments Fund (WMF), a U.S. based organization that conserves cultural sites around the world, to conserve Shwe Nandaw Kyaung since 2014.  WMF began with comprehensive research and an assessment of the building, followed by emergency repairs to stop the deterioration of the teak building.  Until now, U.S. funding has supported water management upgrades, repair of the monument’s staircases, supplanting pyinkado wood for teak as the building was originally constructed, and restoring and replacing decorative elements.  Additional U.S. funding will support continued conservation efforts, capacity building, and training for individuals in the Mandalay region. 

Shwe Nandaw Kyaung is one of the most visited monasteries in the country.  It formerly served as the northern chamber of Mandalay’s Glass Palace, and it is the only apartment of the former 19th century Kon Baung palace to survive World War II.  The original chamber was built by King Mindon, who died inside, and later moved to its current location and refurbished as a monastery by King Mindon’s son, King Thibaw.  Shwe Nandaw Kyaung is included in a list of seven monasteries protected by the Archaeological Survey of Burma since 1919 on the grounds of the monastery’s historical and architectural significance.

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