Abhayagiri Stupa, of which renovations are now complete, will be unveiled to public on July 31. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are to participate in the unveiling ceremony. Over 50 bikkus and local and foreign visitors have been invited.
The renovation of Abhayagiri Stupa began 15 years ago, and the Central Cultural Fund has been working on the research and conservation of the stupa. The Abhayagiri Stupa in Anuradhapura was built by King Valagamba during his 89-77BC reign.
“More than 500 million rupees has been spent on the conservation of the stupa, and for the entire Abhayagiri Project, which also includes research on the stupa, has reached 2,000 million rupees,” Central Cultural Fund Director General Prof Prishanta Gunawardena said. He added that no funds were from the Treasury, and that all funds allocated to the conservation of the Abhayagiri Stupa came from ticket sales to locals and foreigners.
The Central Cultural Fund is also planning to expand its work. “We hope to start the Maha Vihara Project in the near future, and this will include research on and conservation of the Maha Vihara,” Gunawardena said.