Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Shwedagon museum undergoes renovation

The Shwedagon Pagoda’s board of trustees has started renovation and restoration of its museum near the west gate, said an official on the management committee. Daw Nyo Nyo Win told The Myanmar Times that exterior and interior redecoration had begun last September.

A staff member at the Shwedagon Pagoda museum moves a display board into place as part of the museum’s renovation. (Thiri/The Myanmar Times)A staff member at the Shwedagon Pagoda museum moves a display board into place as part of the museum’s renovation. (Thiri/The Myanmar Times)

An exact completion date has not been set, but officials hope it will be finished in 2016.

Two extra floors will be added to the three-storey building, which now contains exhibitions, Buddhist literature and archives. The library and archives are being moved to the lower platform at the east gate.

The renovation involves repainting, rewiring and the installation of air-conditioning.

“We’re keeping open the display for the benefit of pilgrims and visitors, but we will close it later,” she said.

At the west gate, the Buddhawin Exhibition, which tells stories related to the births of the Buddha, is also undergoing renovation, including the construction of a corridor that will improve access.

Daw Nu Mra Zan, a retired deputy director general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, said there would be 12 exhibition rooms in the new museum.

The first floor will display the Five Buddhas, golden and silver stupas and images, ivory and jewellery, Shwedagon architecture and history, and a diamond bud and umbrella (hti).

The second floor will house the Buddha’s footprint, relics, and donor and other memorials. Traditional arts and crafts will also be on display, with labels in Myanmar and English.

“This will provide an improved visitor service,” said Daw Nu Mra Zan, who is volunteering as an adviser to the team in charge of the project. “Shwedagon is our national landmark. We need better awareness of museology, and need to display to international standards.”

The museum was established in 1992.