The Inya Institute aims to support large-scale heritage preservation projects and to launch its own targeted heritage preservation projects. In order to help raise local awareness about the value of the country’s heritage, the projects involve a high degree of community participation and are developed as much as possible in multi-cultural environments.
The institute provides scientific guidance to Internationally-led heritage conservation projects, as its members have significant expertise and experience in the field of Myanmar Studies, with some of them being also based in Yangon.
Completed conservation workshops
Digitizing and Cataloguing of Manuscripts: On February 27-March 3, 2015, the institute hosted a workshop focusing on manuscript digitization and cataloguing. The five-day training was offered to a group of librarians of Yangon Universities Central Library and is part of a yearlong research project which consists in a survey and preservation of monastic manuscript collections in villages of Upper Myanmar and is funded by the British Library’s ‘Endangered Archives Program’.
On-going conservation project
Teak Monasteries Restoration Project: The World Monuments Fund, a New York-based foundation dedicated to preserving ancient sites worldwide, was awarded in July 2013 a large grant by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for restoring the Shwe-nandaw Monastery in Mandalay, a former royal wooden monastery that has survived WWII bombings.
Inya Institute has been the WMF’s Scientific Advisor since 2013 for this first international conservation project developed in Myanmar. The institute has produced a historical narrative of the successive alterations undergone by the building and a cultural mapping identifying the different stakeholders and interested parties involved directly or not in the restoration project. It was instrumental in identifying local carpenters and carvers now involved with the conservation project. It is assisting the WMF in the creation of database of all wood carvings decorating the structure for documentation and conservation purposes. As the project’s proper conservation starts, it is also in charge of surveying missing wood elements that might be replaced, identifying potential wood carvers that will be selected for replacing missing parts, and producing a report on the historical, architectural, and iconographic significance of the Shwe-nandaw Monastery.
Grant proposals are being written by the institute to complement the research and training activities developed by the project. A successful proposal was awarded funding in 2014 by the International Wood Culture Society (see Research page).
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