Myitmakha News Agency
Yangon, July 20 – French experts have been called to join forces with the Department of Archaeology as part of a concerted effort to restore the Hawnan, the erstwhile residence of a Shan Chieftain located in Shan State’s Nyaung Shwe Township, which has since been opened as a Museum to Buddhism, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism of Taunggyi.
The team of French professionals reportedly arrived in Myanmar during the first week of July and have already submitted a study report on the building for which preservation efforts are being made.
“[The French] team is one that restores ancient structures. I haven’t personally been presented with the detailed data concerning the Hawnan. That report was only submitted to the office of the union minister.” Said U Htin Aung Naing, director of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism for Taunggyi Township in Shan State.
Upon completion of necessary restoration to the Hawnan, permission will reportedly be granted to sellers to trade within the night market, located within the Hawnan compound, two days a week in a bid to increase employment opportunities for local residents.
“Restoration work to the Hawnan will commence around the end of this month,” continued U Htin Aung Naing. “Our department is not privy to the details relating to finances of the project. The budget will be released only by union government.”
The aforementioned initiative comes amid increasing numbers of foreign travelers to the southern Shan State town of Nyaung Shwe, which has already seen approximately 100,000 foreign visitors so far this 2016-17 fiscal year, compared with 90,000 for the entire year prior, according to records of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism for the town of Taunggyi.