The Yangon Heritage Trust assisted with the renovation of the residence of former United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. The house, which belongs to the government, is a colonial era building within the Windermere compound in Yangon. U Thant lived there in the 1950s when he was Secretary to Prime Minster U Nu (whose official residence was nearby) before leaving to serve as Burma’s Permanent Representative to the UN in 1957. The Windermere compound has been home to many of the country’s top leaders since independence. In early 2012, President U Thein Sein approved a request from YHT Chairman Dr. Thant Myint-U that the house be renovated for reuse as a museum dedicated to the life of U Thant, as well as a centre for public events, such as lectures and seminars, on issues related to the former Secretary General and his work. In May 2013, preliminary renovation work was completed followed by a ‘soft opening’ and photo-exhibition that was attended by an array of government ministers, leaders of political parties, foreign ambassadors, donors and interested parties.
It is used as a museum to U Thant’s life and works as well as a public event centre since 2014. An “U Thant House Trust” was set up as a Myanmar NGO by the U Thant family and is now the official caretaker of the property. It is planning a series of lectures and talks that will be open to the public. U Thant’s family raised the money for the renovation, while YHT provided expert advice and technical support. YHT hopes that this may be the first of several projects to properly recognize and restore the Yangon homes of leading figures in Myanmar history and international history.
The U Thant House 31, U Thant House lane (Pan Wah Lane) Kamayut township, Yangon.