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The Great Bell of Dhammazedi has been found buried in the riverbed at the point where the Yangon and Bago rivers converge with Pazadaung Creek, the leader of the search team, San Lin, told Daily Eleven on August 26.
The great bell will be salvaged and brought to land in the next few days, he said.
“Our search team announces the discovery of the great bell today,” a statement from the search team said on August 26.
Letters announcing the discovery were distributed to the public. “At present, we are continuing to dig out the bell. We have not discussed the salvage operation in detail,” San Lin said.
He told a press conference in July that the great bell would be salvaged and brought to land on August 26.
The Thaketa Bolin jetty was packed with people on August 26 and free food was given to the spectators who had gathered to witness the bell being raised from the riverbed. Rumours had spread the night before that the great bell would be hoisted that day from beneath the riverbed to above the water’s surface.
Naing Min Aung, vice-chairman of a group that has supported the hunt for the bronze bell, said that San Lin had confirmed that the great bell had been found and that preparations were being made for salvaging it with the necessary equipment.
The Myanmar Port Authority warned ferryboat operators on the morning of August 26 not to overload their boats with passengers and to ensure they wore life jackets.
The Great Bell of Dhammazedi was cast in 1485 during the reign of ethnic Mon King Dhammazedi. According to some pagoda history books it weighs more than 290 tonnes. If it has been discovered and is successfully brought to land, it will be the largest bell in the world.
Russia’s Tsar Bell, which is on display on the grounds of the Kremlin in Moscow, is currently the largest in the world. It was cast over two years, from 1733 to 1735, and weighs more than 200 tonnes. Because it was broken during its casting it has never once been rung. cr. eleven media