On July 25, U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell and Deputy Minister of Culture U Than Swe met in Mandalay to announce a historic new partnership between the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Culture to undertake the cultural preservation of the Shwe Nan-Daw Monastery (Shwe Kyaung). The project builds on several initiatives by the Embassy to work with the government and civil society groups on promoting respect for the diverse cultures and religions of this country.
Shwe Nan-Daw Monastery is one of the most visited monasteries in the country. It formerly served as the northern chamber of Mandalay’s Glass Palace, and it is the only apartment of the former 19th century Kon Baung palace to survive World War II. The original chamber was built by King Mindon, who died inside, and later moved to its current location and refurbished as a monastery by King Mindon’s son, King Thibaw.