The historic village of Indein, Myanmar was founded by monks around the 3rd century B.C, who wanted to spread Buddhism across the country. Hundreds of pagodas, ornaments, and statues of Buddha were built around the area, but with time, the village was abandoned and its temples were consumed with greenery. Nowadays, the site stands as a visual contradiction of old and new, as people have begun renovating and preserving the historic structures little by little, surrounding the crumbling temples with brand new white stupas.
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In partnership with a 3D laser-scanning nonprofit called CyArk, Google Arts & Culture began the Open Heritage Project, a new chapter for historic preservation in the form of virtual reality. By using advanced 3D laser scanning technology, high-res drone photography, and DSLR cameras, CyArk can virtually recreate historic architecture to be more easily explored and restored.
Threatening to end Cairo’s 1,046 year dominance as the country’s capital, earlier this month the government of Egypt announced their intentions to create a new, yet-to-be-named capital city just east of New Cairo. The promise of the more than 270 square mile ‘new New Cairo’ has attracted headlines from around the world with its sheer scale; a $45 billion development of housing, shopping and landmarks designed to attract tourism from day one, including a theme park larger than Disneyland. And of course, the plans include the promise of homes - for at least 5 million residents in fact, with the vast number of schools, hospitals and religious and community buildings that a modern city requires - making the new capital of Egypt the largest planned city in history.
Preservationists are in a race to document and preserve some of Yangon’s most admired cultural icons. Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon is experiencing an all to familiar story: rapid development taking precedence over preservation. As the National Geographic reports, “Hulking monoliths of concrete and blue-plated glass are replacing fine old residential and government buildings…Although much has already been lost, many architecturally or esthetically significant structures have hung on. The question now is how long they will last.” Read the complete story, here.