Shwedagon authorities repair cyclone damage

Feb 4, 2009 (DVB), Shwedagon pagoda authorities have been working for the past five months to repair damage caused in May last year by Cyclone Nargis, which dislodged precious gems from the top of the pagoda.

A source close to members of the pagoda administration committee said treasures including a large diamond and several other jewels had come down from the pagoda.

"Some jewels fell off during the storm and they have been kept in the Shwedagon pagoda museum," he said.

"I heard that some of the treasures have been moved."

The source claimed that State Peace and Development Council leaders planned to move these jewels and other museum exhibits to Naypyidaw where a replica of Shwedagon pagoda, Uppaba Thandi pagoda, is situated.

A member of the pagoda administration committee said he was not aware of any plans to move the valuable items to the new capital but confirmed that some precious gems had fallen off the pagoda.

"We put up the scaffolding on 1 September and formed a subcommittee of three members [to repair the pagoda]," he said.

"Some precious gems had fallen down."

Reporting by Arnt Phone Myat

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