30 January, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/05/2012
ASIA
Experts warn ten major archaeological sites at risk in Asia
According to the Global Heritage Fund (GHF), economic growth, war and mass tourism are the main cause of "irreparable loss and destruction." The danger is dramatically underestimated and funds for protection and conservation are limited. A Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan and the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam in Thailand are among the sites at risk.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Unfettered economic growth and unchecked mass tourism are endangering Asia's architectural treasures, which could vanish in a few years, a report by the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) warns. To illustrate the situation, the latter has released a list of ten sites that are threatened; they range from a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, where a powerless international community witnessed the Taliban wantonly destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan in March 2001, to an ancient city in China. Established in 2002 in California, the GHF chose the sites that are most in danger of "irreparable loss and destruction."

"These 10 sites represent merely a fragment of the endangered treasures across Asia and the rest of the developing world," GHF executive director Jeff Morgan said in presenting the report.

The main danger comes from economic growth, which has brought hordes of tourists, but also lawlessness and warfare.

"Heritage is being dramatically undervalued. Thus, the reinvestment and the focus on heritage is lacking today," Morgan said, warning that the endangered sites were doomed without quick help.

"We're going to lose them on our watch in the next 10 years."

The ruins of Ayutthaya (pictured), the ancient capital of Siam (today's Thailand), is one of the sites most at risk.

Declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a world heritage in 1991, it suffered greatly in last year's great flood, which damaged 158 historic monuments.

The Thai government does not have the means or the will to invest the resources experts deem necessary for the site's restoration. At the same time, the historic city has come under threat from vendors and urban development. This had raised concerns that the site might be removed from the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The top 10 endangered sites, according to the Global Heritage Fund, are:

1. Ayutthaya in Thailand, a former Siamese capital known as the 'Venice of the East'.

2. Fort Santiago in the Philippines.

3. Kashgar, one of the last preserved Silk Road cities in China.

4. Mahasthangarh, one of South Asia's earliest archaeological sites in Bangladesh.

5. Mes Aynak, an Afghan Buddhist monastery complex on the Silk Road.

6. Myauk-U, capital of the first Arakanese kingdom in Myanmar.

7. Plain of Jars, a mysterious megalithic site in Laos.          

8. Preah Vihear, a Khmer architectural masterpiece in Cambodia.

9. Rakhigarhi, one of the biggest, ancient Indus civilization sites in India.

10. Taxila, an ancient economic crossroads in Pakistan.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/07/2006 CHINA
In Anhui people rather let China's heritage waste away than sell to foreigners
09/14/2005 ASIA
Asia governments to control text-messaging
02/26/2009 CHINA
Beijing announces reprisals against Christie’s for selling two ancient sculptures
08/07/2010 INDIA - UNITED KINGDOM
Britain will not return the Koh-i-noor diamond to India
01/31/2013 CHINA
Beijing pollution "more dangerous than SARS"

Editor's choices
IRAQ
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
IRAQ
Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.