"Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Lao PDR: Issues and on-going projects"

Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy
(CSEAS & Department of Museums and Archaeology Ministry of Information and Culture. Lao PDR)
16:00-18:00, October 4 (Tue), 2005
E207, 2nd Floor, CSEAS East Building
The Lao PDR with its limited resource has been striving to preserve its rich but fragile tangible and intangible cultural heritage. My paper will present how this work has been undertaken and how it has benefited from networking with international communities and organizations. This will be illustrated by four on-going projects.
  1. How the conservation of Monuments and Sites is currently structured and implemented in Laos?
  2. Luang Prabang inscribed on the list of World Heritage Site in 1995; conservation of built heritage, landscape and living cultural traditions. This site is threatened by a booming tourism and modern urbanisation practices.
  3. Vat Phou and its Associated Monuments within the Champasak Cultural Landscape, inscribed in the list of World Heritage Site in 2002. This complex is made of groups of stone monuments, buried brick structures and two abandoned cities (5th-13th c. AD); they are to be preserved altogether with their natural environment. The whole site is comprised of 390 sq km.
  4. The Plain of Jars; more than 50 sites with a total of 1,750 stone jars, scattered within the whole Xieng Khuang Province. They represent the unique Megalithic culture which flourished 2,500 years ago. The community-based conservation has been proven as the best solution since vandalism could be brought down. Candidate to be listed as a World Heritage Site.
  5. Conservation of Menhirs at Hua Pan Province. This site is of Stonehenge’s style and is approximately 3,000 years old. They are damaged by nature and by vandalism. The community-based concept has been applied.
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