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A larger story to the previous news piece about the attempted closure of the Nakhon Pathom museum is the plan by the Thai Fine Arts Department to consolidate a number of smaller museums. While efficient, this move is not necessarily widely accepted by the locals whose museums and heritage will be affected.

Stuccos reliefs at the Phra Pathom Chedi Museum in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Source: Bangkok Post 20150504

Stuccos reliefs at the Phra Pathom Chedi Museum in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Source: Bangkok Post 20150504

Central residents protest museum-closure plan
Bangkok Post, 04 May 2015

Hands off our heritage
The Nation, 11 May 2015

The Fine Arts Department’s planned consolidation of small national museums drew strong protest Monday from residents of Nakhon Pathom and Chai Nat provinces, who oppose moving local exhibits to large regional institutions.

embers of local governing bodies, governors and residents from the provinces in the Northeast and Central regions argued that the museums and their artwork represented local historical roots and identity and had invaluable spiritual value for them. Therefore, they reasoned, the artefacts should be kept in their hometowns.

Opponents have launched online protest campaigns and pledged to mobilise locals to demonstrate against the museum closures. Protesters in both Nakhon Pathom and Chai Nat said they were ready to take over the operation and expense of the museums if the department transferred ownership to the provinces.

The Fine Arts Department last week floated the idea of closing Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum in Nakhon Pathom and displaying its pieces from the Dvaravati period (9th-12th century) at U Thong National Museum in Suphan Buri.

The department already had named nine national museums it wanted to consolidate in Bangkok and other provinces, including Chainatmuni National Museum in Chai Nat.

Full stories here and here.

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