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Plain of Jars World Heritage Nomination Edging Closer

The Heritage Department of Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is hopeful of having the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province ready for World Heritage nomination next year.

The centuries-old Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape thought to date back 2,500 to 3,000 years. The area contains more than 2,000 stone jars and has been submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in the list of World Heritage Sites.

A Technical Meeting towards World Heritage Nomination for the Plain of Jars was held at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s office yesterday to discuss the master plan.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Bouangeun Xaphouvong, Director General of Heritage Department, Dr Bounthieng Siripaphanh, experts from UNESCO in Bangkok, Thailand and other officials.

During the meeting Director G eneral of Heritage Department, Dr Bounthieng Siripaphanh said, “Preparation for the Plain of Jars World Heritage nomination project commenced in 1998 and handbooks were published in 2009. Progress has been steady and persistent because we have faced many difficulties along the way”.

“We have already prepared many items with technical and budget support from UNESCO in Bangkok, technical support from Australia and financial support from Korea as well as policy development from the leadership of Xieng Khuang province” he said.

“The challenge now is to find enough money to implement it and ensure that Laos has sufficient technical expertise” Dr Bounthieng said.

Deputy Director General of the Heritage Department Mr Samlane Luang Aphay reported that after finishing the master plan it would be sent to the government and following government approval it would be sent to UNESCO for assessment.

Mr Samlane also e xplained that most tourists to the Plain of Jars visited Ang village, Paek district, which has 334 stone jars, Nakho village, Phaxay district which has 93 stone jars and Xingdy village, Phaxay district with 158 stone jars and other items.

Mr Bouangeun added that, “Through good implementation and management the Plain of Jars will become an even more important heritage tourism site for domestic and foreign visitors”.

Source: Vientiane Times