After four years of negotiations on the lease agreement and the construction permit we have finally reached that point: the renovation works at the old villa which will be the future premises of the Goethe Institut in Myanmar are about to start.
Initially, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier was expected for the groundbreaking ceremony. Unfortunately, his visit had to be cancelled on short notice. Instead, the closest friends of the institute and our colleagues from the German Embassy, german organizations and the Goethe Institut celebrated a smaller scale ceremony.
Monks of the neighboring Aung Myay Thu Kha Monastery celebrated the Myay Thant ceremony ( Myay Thant = Cleaning the Ground)
They prayed for spiritual support and protection for the construction and renovation work.
The Buddha, who will find His place on the first floor and will protect the villa and its visitors from evil spirits.
The spilling of water symbolizes the sharing of karma merits and life with mother earth.
In return for the ceremony, the monks receive new robes and a ceremonial table.
German Ambassador Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch and contractor Shigeo Hana from Tokyo Enterprise sign the agreement on the construction order of the German Foreign Ministry.
Everything is set for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Meike Goosmann and Stefan Weeke from Berlin accompany the ceremony.
Last instructions …
German Ambassador Weber-Lortsch, architect Kyaw Kaliar (Yangon), architect Oliver Gerhartz (Berlin) and contractor Shigeo Hana.
A toast to a swift and safe proceeding of the construction work, hoping for an inauguration of the new Goethe-Villa in one year! (On the left: U Myat Thura from Yangon University of the Arts (landlord), Daw Myintzu Myint, Shigeo Hana’s wife and partner of Tokio Enterprise.)
An early glance at the future Cafeteria …
… and the new building for library and auditorium alongside the old villa
We enter another important step in the founding history of the Goethe Institut Myanmar.
Construction works started the very evening: The site, four days later …