|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, August 23, 2017
|Team of Myanmar divers claim legendary missing King Dhammazedi's bell found |
In this photograph taken on August 15, 2014 a dredger ship used by a local salvage team in the search of the missing King Dhammazedi's bell makes its way on the Yangon River. A team of Myanmar divers claims to have discovered a legendary bell in the murky depths of the Yangon river -- with the help of dragon spirits -- in the latest twist to a 400-year-old drama that has gripped the nation. AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU.
By: Hla Hla Htay
YANGON (AFP).- A team of Myanmar divers claims to have discovered a legendary bell in the murky depths of the Yangon river -- with the help of dragon spirits -- in the latest twist to a 400-year-old drama that has gripped the nation.
Dozens of divers, equipped only with goggles and plastic oxygen hoses, have plunged into the fast-flowing waters in search of the long-lost Dhammazedi bell, in a spectacle that has generated scepticism but also attracted lines of spectators along the riverbank since the search began earlier this month.
The group is the latest in a series of treasure hunters eager to try to raise the near-mythical giant bell, which is said to have sunk without trace after being stolen from Yangon's revered Shwedagon Pagoda by a Portuguese mercenary in the 1600s.
It was reputedly loaded onto a boat which sank under the weight.
"After asking permission from all noble persons and saints, we definitively declare that we have found the Dhammazedi bell," said a statement from lead organiser San Lin.
He has not so far provided any proof.
The search has attracted criticism among Myanmar historians, some of whom question the very existence of the bell.
Organisers have rejected hi-tech equipment in favour of spiritual practices, performing rituals on their boat in the centre of the swollen river to appease dragon spirits said to be protecting the bell.
"It can be found if we organise and research systematically. But it cannot be found like this -- following astrologers' advice and inviting Nats (spirits), dragons and galouns (mythical birds)," Chit San Win, of the Myanmar Historical Commission, told AFP.
San Lin, who says he originally saw the bell on the riverbed during a 1998 salvage attempt and has received funding from a local private bank, vowed to lift the bell from the water within days.
As heavy as a Boeing 777
Fashioned mainly out of bronze, the Dhammazedi bronze bell is said to have weighed 294 tonnes -- about the same as the maximum take-off weight of a Boeing 777.
Historians believe it was donated to the Shwedagon pagoda in 1484 by the Mon King Dhammazedi, who ruled the southern part of Myanmar at the time.
It was then believed to have been stolen from the revered temple by Portuguese merchant Filipe De Brito e Nicote -- known locally as Nga Zinka -- who had seized control of an area south of Yangon and wanted to melt down the bronze to make cannon.
While no definitive proof has yet been uncovered of the bell's existence, the search operation has garnered a following of hopeful supporters.
"I came here to encourage the salvage operation -- I really want them to get it," said housewife Aye Aye Mar, who had travelled for hours from her home to witness the salvage attempt.
But others are more cynical, with social media buzzing with posts mocking some local media reports that appeared to present as fact the involvement of a dragon in the salvage.
"Can I get the phone number of the dragon?" asked one of many similar posts.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
August 27, 2014
Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud
Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September
The Nazmiyal Collection acquires over 100 rare vintage Moroccan rugs, Will be exhibited at NYC showroom
Banksy's Mobile Lovers sold to benefit Broad Plain Working With Young People
Christie's announces cross- departmental private sales exhibition in Shanghai and Hong Kong
ICP & United States Holocaust Memorial Museum partner to digitally share Roman Vishniac archive
'Isa Genzken: Botanical Garden' on view at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden
Antique Coca-Cola calendar sells for world-record $210,000 at Morphy's Advertising & Coin-Op Auction
Team of Myanmar divers claim legendary missing King Dhammazedi's bell found
American Express and World Monuments Fund award $1.5 million in preservation grants
Wizard of Oz production concept paintings bring $45,625 at Heritage Auctions
Baldwin's Hong Kong Coin Auction achieves US$2,513,400; Gold British Trade Dollar sold for US$236,000
The Musée de l'Elysée acquires collection of 100 original prints by Gilles Peress
Art Alliance Austin announces new Executive Director Asa Hursh
Over 300 lots of fine Asian carvings and works of art will be sold by Elite Decorative Arts
BBC Two, BBC Four and the British Library join forces to celebrate all things Gothic this autumn
Revealed: First images from fiftieth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition
Magnificent pair of Kell engraved guns by John Wilkes sells for over £50,000
Inaugural visit to the International Academy of Ceramics to Ireland for major international conference
Kathryn Maple awarded First Prize in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014
Boston Athenæum to be open seven days a week starting in October
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Basquiat: A darling of pop culture, but not museums
2.- Edward Hopper House unveils new collection of the American artist's early years and memorabilia
3.- Alice Cooper finds precious Warhol work in storage
4.- Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem found at the City of David
5.- Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibits masterpieces by painter Cristóbal de Villalpando
6.- Exhibition on Screen to open its fifth season with Canaletto & the Art of Venice
7.- Gifts to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II go on display at Buckingham Palace
8.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens first-ever museum exhibition of Amanda Williams
9.- Exhibition details how Israel's Mossad tracked down and captured Adolf Eichmann
10.- Extraordinary embroidery: Hidden histories of ordinary girls revealed through their sewing
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.