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Country Summary for MYANMAR

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Ancient Monument'—building sites lived, made, used and built by human beings including geological environments where fossils of over one hundred years old are found above or under the ground or above or under the water. The following objects are specified as 'ancient monuments':
(a) religious buildings including zedi, stupa, temple, monastery, brick monastery, rest house, buddhist ordination hall, worship monument, brick mounds and collapsed damages;
(b) ancient city, palace, city wall, moat, earth bunker, gate, archway, gateway, forts, residential buildings, residential site, garden, working site, and ancient mounds dwelt by ancient people and their remains;
(c) natural or man-made cave where human beings had dwelt, natural cave, ancient rock cave, other residential place and geological environments including mound, brook, depression, hole, ravine, and river terrace where ancient people had dwelt and the places where primates and other fossils are found;
(d) place where objects of ancient people were made, pottery kiln, glazed kiln, iron furnace, glass furnace and other metal furnace and places related to them;
(e) ancient monument, road, bridge, excavations, well, lake, pond and, gravel stone made as monumental structure, stone pillar, heaped stone, cemetery, burial site, burial building, cave and pavilion;
(f) epigraphy, archive and the building where they are placed or epigraph cave, monumental structure, pillers and stone slabs;
(g) the buildings that should be protected and preserved by the State because of their high cultural, historical, architectural and artistic value;
(h) other buildings stipulated as listed ancient monuments by the Ministry by notification. (PPAM §§2(a) & 4(a))

'Antique Object'—objects which are used by human beings including fossils over one hundred years old in above or under the ground or in above or under the water. The following objects are specified as 'antique objects':
(a) tangible and intangible cultural heritage including fossil, corpse and bones of human beings and various types of animals;
(b) Buddha image, votive tablet, mural painting, cloth painting, figurine, collapsed damages and religious objects;
(c) work of arts including stucco curving made on reliable religious buildings of the public;
(d) tools made of stone, bronze, iron or any metal or bone, tusk, horn of animal or wood or bamboo;
(e) silver casting objects including coin made of gold, silver, bronze, iron or any metal, earthened coin or terracotta coin and pieces of gold, pieces of silver used as currency, gold bowl and silver bowl;
(f) carved objects including statute, image and relief made of gold, silver, stone, bronze, iron or any metal or earth, terracotta, cement, brick, stone, wood or bone, tusk, horn of animal;
(g) royal regalia and royal objects;
(h) vehicle including palanquin, coach and cart;
(i) epigraphical evidences including stone inscription, inscribed brick, bell inscription, ink writing, gold inscription, silver inscription, copper inscription, glazed plaque script, votive tablet script, manuscript, leather script, print, palm-leaf manuscript, folding parchment, alphabet, seal and logo;
(j) handicrafts pertaining to ten kinds of Myanmar traditional art and crafts;
(k) relief and other wood carving made decorations in residential building including public rest house, metal carving, work of arts including stone engraving, petroglyph and earthen ware;
(l) clothing including Myanmar turban, supreme head, head plate and clothes;
(m) ornaments;
(n) measuring tools including weight, measurement basket for grain and scale;
(o) utensils including harrow, plough, pottery hammer and weaving instruments;
(p) pottery, glazed ware, stone pot, stone bowl, porcelain and utensils including pot, bowl, plate, spoon and lacquer-ware made of gold, silver, bronze or any metal;
(q) musical instruments including drum, gong, flute, oboe, cymbal (lingwin), brass gong and Myanmar orchestra (saing waing);
(r) ornaments worn on animals including elephant, horse and cattle;
(s) Myanmar traditional playthings including earthen sherd and stone sherd;
(t) other objects recorded as antique objects after field inspection of the Ministry. (PPAO §2(a) & 4(a)-(t).

'Antique Object which is not Myanmar Origin'—antique object made in any other foreign country which is in Myanmar for any cause. (PPAO §2(b))

'Department'—Department of Archaeology and National Museum. (PPAO §2(f); PPAM §2(f))

'Division delegated by the Department'—branches of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum opened in States and Regions. (PPAO §2(g); PPAM §2(g))

'Listed Ancient Monument'—building included in the listed ancient monuments prescribed by the Ministry by notification. (PPAM §2(a))

'Ministry'—Ministry of Culture of the Union Government. (PPAO §2(e); PPAM §2(e))

'Museum'—building opened by any Government Department or Regional Administrative Organization or individual with the intent to exhibit in order to learn peacefully and educate the public by doing protection, preservation and research the psychosomatic heritages which educates the public and which is valuable in terms of culture, history and art. (PPAO §2(c))

'Protection and Preservation'—means covering, repairing in original form and renovating, cleaning, modifying and maintaining an antique object by any other means including chemical means for the purpose of perpetuation of them. [This includes] includes protecting and preserving an ancient monument and its environment, fencing that monument and carrying out to access easily there in accord with the requirement, repairing without altering the original form, renovating, cleaning, and modifying by scientific method including archaeological engineering, chemical and other methods for the purpose of perpetuation of them. (PPAO §2(d); PPAM §2(c))


The person who finds any object or ancient monument above or under the ground or above or under the water, which has no owner or custodian, shall promptly inform the relevant Ward or Village-Tract Administrative Office. The Ward or Village-Tract Administrator shall keep the said object or monument as may be necessary and shall forward the information to the relevant Township Administrative Office within 14 days. The Township Administrator shall promptly carry out the necessities and inform the Department within 7 days from the date on which the information is received. (PPAO §§12-13; PPAM §12)

Relevant State Agencies

The Ministry shall carry out the following:
(1) protection, preservation, excavation, collection and research of Antique objects;
(2) carrying out to prevent smuggling of antique objects to foreign countries by illegal means and to recover antique objects that have been taken outside the country illegally;
(3) carrying out educative work for taking pride in the value of antique objects and for protection and preservation of them by the public;
(4) maintaining and protecting ancient monuments for perpetuation;
(5) protecting and preserving in advance so as not to deteriorate due to the climatic condition, natural disaster, man-made destruction and any other means;
(6) searching ancient monuments situated across the State, putting them in the list of ancient monuments, and protecting and preserving them;
(7) carrying out educative programme for taking pride in the value of ancient monuments and for protection and preservation of them by the public. (PPAO §5; PPAM §5)

The Ministry may delegate the Department to carry out the functions and duties in respect of protection, preservation, submission and acceptance of antique objects; and respect of protection, preservation, return and acceptance of an ancient monuments. (PPAO §9; PPAM §9)

The Department:
(1) shall, if it is necessary to inspect any antique building whether it is a real or not, decide it by inspection Body for Ancient Building;
(2) shall submit and take the decision of the Expert Group formed by the Ministry if any dispute arises in carrying out under sub-section (b). (PPAO §10)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Department of Archaeology and
Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture
Office No (35) NayPyiTaw
Union of Myanmar
Ph: 095-067-408038
F: 095-067-408026; 095-067-408033