Thailand prepares to defend two World Heritage Sites in danger

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Ayutthaya. Source: The Nation 20150623

Thailand is preparing to defend the World Heritage status of two sites, the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex and Ayutthaya Historical Park. Concerns over the management of these two sites have been raised in previous Unesco meetings and they are expected to be discussed in the Unesco meeting in Paris next week.

Ayutthaya. Source: The Nation 20150623

Ayutthaya. Source: The Nation 20150623

Thailand continues fight to keep two sites’ status
The Nation, 23 June 2015

Thailand is preparing hard to defend the status of two World Heritage sites in the face of ongoing concerns about conservation and management efforts.

These two sites are the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex and the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has threatened to downgrade the first site’s status as a World Heritage site.

At the last session of Unesco’s World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar in 2014, the forest complex was identified as facing threats, which could be a reason to downgrade its World Heritage status.

Unesco also has concerns about the repairing of historic sites in Ayutthaya Historical Park after the big flood.

Even though the upcoming World Heritage Committee meeting will not have the forest complex’ status review on the agenda, the Thai delegation believes it needs to show that it will be able to maintain the complex as a World Heritage site.

Full story here.

The ruins of Ayutthaya, Venice of the East

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A couple of weeks ago, I visited Thailand and made a trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, capital of the Siamese kingdom from the 14th to 18th centuries. The city eventually fell to the Burmese, and the kingdom moved the capital to what is known as Bangkok today. But the ancient city still endures, and today it’s a World Heritage Site that’s a great way to spend a day or two if you’re based in Bangkok. In this post I’ll highlight some of the major sites and ruins in the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

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Poor Custodians of Rich Heritage

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24 October 2007 (Nation Multimedia) – The Nation’s editorial bemoaning the fact that Ayutthaya might be removed from the World Heritage Site list, calling it a “national embarrassment”.

Poor custodians of rich heritage
The possibility of Ayutthaya being axed from the UN World Heritage List is a wake-up call to Thailand

The government and people of Thailand celebrated the inclusion of the historic city of Ayutthaya on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage List in December 1991 with great pride and joy. In the immediate few years that followed the decision, while Thailand was still in the first flush of enthusiasm, great efforts were made to preserve the historical park, which includes the ruins of the royal palace and the ancient Buddhist temples that were destroyed in 1767 by the invading Burmese.

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Saving Ayutthaya

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18 & 19 October (Nation Multimedia) – The prospect of de-listing Ayutthaya from UNESCO’s World Heritage List seems to have sparked some editorials in the Thai Newspaper, The Nation. The second article also talks a little about the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1767.

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

Ministry rings alarm bells over Ayutthaya
Historic town on verge of being taken off World heritage list
by Pakamard Jaichalard and Chularat Saengpassa

Culture Minister Khunying Khaisri Sriaroon yesterday said it would be “unfortunate and embarrassing” if Unesco removes the Historic City of Ayutthaya and Associated Historic Towns from the World Heritage list following threat of encroachments from rapid development.

Khaisri had received an initial report from the Fine Arts Department that the site, which was included in Unesco’s World Heritage List in December 1991, had problems with city planning that might lead to its exclusion from the list, the minister said.

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Ancient Thai kingdom might lose its World Heritage Status

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17 October 2007 (Bangkok Post, Nation Multimedia) – The ruins of Thailand’s ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya is in danger of losing its UNESCO World Heritage Status, because of encroachment into the historic city by urbanization. One of the longest-running kingdoms in Thai history, Ayutthaya ruled between the 14th and 18th century, and finally fell to a Burmese invasion in the middle of the 18th century. Today, Ayutthaya is one of the highlights for Thailand tourism.

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

Ayutthaya might be removed from Unesco’s World Heritage list

Culture Minister Khunying Khaisri Sriaroon said Wednesday it would be “unfortunate and embarrassing” if Unesco removes the Historic City of Ayutthaya and Associated Historic Towns from the World Heritage list after the site was under threat of land encroachments from rapid development.

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