Thailand announces ongoing fact-finding programmes to propose five new sites into Unesco’s World Heritage Site list by next year. Among the sites are the ancient cities of Chiang Saen and Suvannakhomkham, which shares Laotian territory; the Lanna kingdom in the north, as well as the Srivijaya-Nakhon Si Tammarat cultural route.
The Nation, 4 June 2009
The Culture Ministry believes a centuries-old complex of companion cities along the Mekong River on both Thai and Lao soil should receive world heritage status.
The site is called the Transboundary of Archaeological Urban Complex of Chiang Saen and Suvannakhomkham.
“It is between 500 and 600 years old,” Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch said yesterday, and is where Chinese and Indian civilisations blended with local tradition into unique, outstanding cultures – precursors of today’s Thailand and the Lao PDR.
“The Fine Arts Department is compiling relevant information. It is expected to complete the task next year, after which we will seek worldheritage status from Unesco,” the culture minister said.
Teera said the department would also compile information for worldheritage consideration for four other historic sites: the Srivijaya – Nakhon Si Thammarat Sathingphra cultural route in the south; Lannacivilisation icons in the north; the cultural landscape along the Chao Phaya River in the Central region; and Prince Narisara Nuvativongse’s architectural works from the Rattanakosin period.