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Lazy Days in Burma.

Pagan est un vaste ensemble de temples bouddhiques de près de 50 kilomètres carrés. Situé dans la plaine centrale de la Birmanie la ville fut, du IXe siècle au XIIIe siècle, la capitale du royaume de Pagan, le premier empire birman.
De nombreux tremblements de terre survenus au cours des siècles ont détruit toutes les habitations et tous les palais. Seuls les temples ont résisté aux secousses sismiques, même si certains ont été sérieusement endommagés. L’un des plus importants et destructeurs s’est produit en juillet 1975.
A la suite de ce dernier tremblement de terre, un inventaire des monuments du site a été dressé par Pierre Pichard, de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient. Cet inventaire recense 2834 monuments, dont de nombreux en ruines.
Plusieurs monuments ont été restaurés après 1975 en respectant les règles internationales en matière de restauration.
Dans les années 1990 cependant, une série de restaurations a été entreprise sous l’égide du gouvernement birman sans tenir compte de ces règles.
Par ailleurs la construction d’un terrain de golf et d’une tour d’observation au milieu du site ont suscité de nombreux commentaires souvent fort critiques de la part des historiens de l’art et archéologues occidentaux.
Face à ce manque de rigueur des autorités, l’Unesco, impliquée jusqu’alors dans la restauration du site, s’est retirée et le statut de patrimoine de l’humanité a été refusé à Pagan.

Nous avons passé une semaine à Pagan, parcourant le site de long en large, le plus souvent à pied, mais aussi assis dans des charrettes tirées soit par des chevaux soit par des boeufs.
Loin de rythme effréné des mégalopoles asiatiques, nous nous laissions bercer par le rythme lent imposé par ces charrettes qui cahotaient sur des pistes rendues poussiéreuses par la saison sèche...






Pagan is a huge set of Buddhist temples of about 50 square kilometers. Situated in the central plain of Burma the city was, from the IXth century to XIIIth century, the capital of the kingdom of Pagan, the first Burmese empire.

Numerous earthquakes over the centuries destroyed all the houses and all the palaces. Only temples resisted the earth tremors, even if some were seriously damaged. One of most important and most destructive earthquake occurred in July, 1975.
Following this last earthquake, an inventory of the monuments of the site was etablished by Pierre Pichard, of the French School of Oriental Studies (EFEO). This inventory lists 2834 monuments, a lot of them in ruins.

Several monuments were restored after 1975 by respecting the international rules regarding restoration.

In the 1990s however, a series of restorations was undertaken under the responsability of the Burmese government without taking into account these rules.
Besides the construction of a golf course and a tower of observation in the middle of the site very critical comments was made by the art historians and the western archaeologists.
In front of this lack of the rigour of the authorities, Unesco, involved until then in the restoration of the site, withdrew and the status of world heritage was refused to Pagan...


We spent one week there, traveling the site up and down, most of the time by foot, but also sat in carts pulled or by horses or oxen.
Far from wild rhythm of the Asian megalopolises, we let ourselves rock by the slow rhythm of these carts which shook on tracks which the dry season had made dusty....
Veils of Golden Dust.
Veils of Golden Dust.
Pagan.
Pagan.
Sunset on Irrawady Banks.
Sunset on Irrawady Banks.
View From Paya Shwesandaw.
View From Paya Shwesandaw.
View on Mingala Zedi.
View on Mingala Zedi.
Translucent pagodas.
Translucent pagodas.
A Pagan's Young Beauty.
A Pagan's Young Beauty.
In the Pagoda.
In the Pagoda.
The Burmese teenager with Thanaka.
The Burmese teenager with Thanaka.
Shwesandaw Pagoda. Sunset Light.
Shwesandaw Pagoda. Sunset Light.
Sunset from Shwenanyintau Pagoda.
Sunset from Shwenanyintau Pagoda.
View from North Guti Complex.
View from North Guti Complex.
Praying - Hti La Min Lo Pagoda.
Praying - Hti La Min Lo Pagoda.
Inside Shin Hin Tha Hiyeung.
Inside Shin Hin Tha Hiyeung.
Devotion.
Devotion.
View from Keminga Pagoda.
View from Keminga Pagoda.
Sunset Light on Dhamma Yan Gyi.
Sunset Light on Dhamma Yan Gyi.
Dhamma Ya Zi Ka.
Dhamma Ya Zi Ka.
Novices playing with Toys....
Novices playing with "Toys"....
Full Moon Festival.
Full Moon Festival.
Confidences.
Confidences.
On The Dusty Roads of Burma.
On The Dusty Roads of Burma.
A View on River Irrawady.
A View on River Irrawady.
The Golden Hour.
The Golden Hour.
An Unusual Pipe.
An Unusual Pipe.
The Little Girl in Yellow.
The Little Girl in Yellow.
A Young Street Dancer.
A Young Street Dancer.
Flowers from Burma.
Flowers from Burma.
Let the Light In.
Let the Light In.
Restoring.
Restoring.
Sunset. Ngwe Saung.
Sunset. Ngwe Saung.
A Smiley from Burma.
A Smiley from Burma.
The Girl with an Umbrella.
The Girl with an Umbrella.
Dhammayangyi. Sunset light.
Dhammayangyi. Sunset light.
Pagan's Old Stupas.
Pagan's Old Stupas.
Morning in Pagan (A bit cloudy).
Morning in Pagan (A bit cloudy).
The Art of Decay.
The Art of Decay.
Stylish and Powerful...
Stylish and Powerful...
Hti-Lo-Min-Lo.
Hti-Lo-Min-Lo.
The Little Girl to the Market.
The Little Girl to the Market.
The Little Girl in the Fields.
The Little Girl in the Fields.
View from North Guti Temples Complex.
View from North Guti Temples Complex.