400 years ago, the largest ancient bell sunk to the depths of River Rangoon after having been stolen by a governor of Thanlyin from Shwedagon Pagoda during 1600s for the purpose of melting it down to produce cannons. However, the raft that carries the bell broke halfway across the river and the bell remained submerged for four centuries.
Upon receiving retrieval permission from the government of Rangoon a month ago, a salvage team is working on recovering the Great Bell of Dhammazedi that is assumed to be buried under 25 feet of mud making the operation more difficult.
Divers worked with dredgers in order to remove silt from the bottom. Salvage team leader Win Myint said, “We believe we will find it. Today, we could dive only once as the current was quite strong. Ten divers are working on it. We can’t disclose more information right now.”
The operation will last for 45 days and the cost estimate is US$250,000 most of which came from donations.