Scotland's colonial-era link with Burma is being revived via the export of architectural skills.
A blueprint for the conservation of the country's largest British-built building has been produced by leading Edinburgh-based historic buildings architect Simpson & Brown.
James Simpson and John Sanders have produced a first draft of a comprehensive conservation plan for the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) for the Secretariat in Yangon (formerly Rangoon), a vast and dilapidated former government building in the heart of the port city.
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The building, completed in 1905, was the seat of Burma's military government following the country's independence, but has been abandoned since 2005 when the junta decamped to Naypyidaw, a new capital in the country's jungle interior. The Secretariat has added significance as the scene of the assassination by Burmese paramilitaries in 1947 of the anti-British independence campaigner General Aung San, along with his cabinet. He was the father of Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, whose influence has accelerated the country's openness to inward investment.
Simpson has worked on colonial-era building projects in India since 2004. He said he hoped that the Burmese project - a partnership between the YHT and Anawmar Group, the prospective owner of the building - could serve as a model for the conservation of Burma's rich but threatened Raj-era heritage. Current plans for the Secretariat include a proposal for an art gallery and offices.
Burma attracted a disproportionately large number of Scots in the British colonial era, as administrators and traders. The country's main river transport company, The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was effectively a Scottish enterprise, run by Paddy Henderson & Company from Glasgow.
The conservation blueprint drawn up by Simpson and colleague Sanders also notes that the ironwork in the Secretariat's elaborate staircases, gates and railings was made by W Macfarlane's Saracen foundry in Glasgow's Possilpark, and that much of the ironwork bears a "Lanarkshire" stamp.