UNESCO to evaluate Ayutthaya site

The time of reckoning for Ayutthaya has come, it seems. The former Thai capital will be visited by experts from UNESCO to judge its continued status as a World Heritage Site, in the wake of development work nearby, untidiness and mismanagement.

Ayutthaya. Creative Commons photo by Joerg Riechel
Creative Commons photo by Jeorg Riechel

Ayutthaya under threat of delisting by Unesco
Bangkok Post, 16 January 2008

Ayutthaya has for been in danger of losing its world heritage status for some time now (see here, here and here) and it looks like the inspectors have finally come. The root of the problem seems to be the lack of communication between state agencies.

The official, who declined to be named, cited as an example a construction project of the local administration organisation which encroaches on the historical park.

“In this case, the local administrators completely ignored the Fine Arts Department’s advice,” she said.She does not believe that it would lose the world heritage status.

Once the inspections are done, Ayutthaya is expected to be up on review in July. Full details here.

Books about Ayutthaya:
The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800 by F. McGill
Ayutthaya and Sukhothai: World Heritage – Reflections Of The Past (2 Volume Boxed Set)
The Arts of Thailand by S. Van Beek and L. Invernizzi
The Sacred Sculpture of Thailand: The Alexander B. Griswold Collection, the Walters Art Gallery by H. W. Woodward
Ancient Capitals of Thailand by E. Moore, P. Stott and S. Suriyavudh

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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