Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture submitted the final draft of its nomination for Mrauk-U to become a World Heritage Site to UNESCO on Monday, four months after the ministry submitted the first draft of its nomination in September 2019.
If the application succeeds, Mrauk-U will be the third place in Myanmar to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after the ancient cities of Bagan and Pyu.
Mrauk-U is located in northern Rakhine State, around 60 km from the state capital of Sittwe.
The ancient city was the seat of Arakanese kings from the 1400s until the late 1700s. At the height of their power, they controlled an area covering large parts of eastern Bengal, modern-day Rakhine State and the western part of central Myanmar.
Much of the city’s remains are well-preserved and some 380 historic temples are scattered between the lush hills of northern Rakhine.
Mrauk-U Heritage Trust chairwoman Daw Khin Than told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that UNESCO will first visit the Mrauk-U heritage sites secretly as tourists in mid-2020 and then will launch their official inspections in September 2020. UNESCO will decide if Mrauk-U will be listed as a World Heritage Site in 2021. _The Irra Waddy