Temple tantrums

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via Bangkok Post, 02 October 2017:

From afar, the iconic stupas of the Temple of Dawn stand elegantly on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. But looking closely at the finer details of the famous landmark, admirers may notice a thick coat of lime plaster that almost covers decorative ceramic tiles. At some spots, ceramics are attached untidily to the central stupa, suggesting sloppy repair work.

The restoration of Wat Arun, as the Temple of Dawn is known, has stirred a heated debate among conservationists, archaeologists, historians and admirers of the historical edifice. The Fine Arts Department, which oversees the restoration, insists that the work has been carried out according to scholastic standards and historical accuracy. However, critics find the work sub-par and poorly supervised, resulting in the diminished grandeur of a national heritage site.

Source: Temple tantrums | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

Thai FAD planning to consolidate smaller museums

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

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.

Thai FAD chief aiming for one new World Heritage site every year

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Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

A Bangkok Post feature on Borvornvate Rungrujee, the Director-General of the Fine Arts Department in Thailand and his plan to nominate more World Heritage Sites from the kingdom.

Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

The fine art of cultural preservation
Bangkok Post, 16 April 2015
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Thailand to help Myanmar with development of Pyu Cities site

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Pyu. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140829

At the request of Myanmar’s department of archaeology, Thailand will assist in the development and management of the Pyu Cities World Heritage Site, based on Thailand’s experience with Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.

Pyu. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140829

Pyu. Source: The Irrawaddy 20140829

Thailand to Help Burma Conserve Ancient Cities
The Irrawaddy, 29 August 2014
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The underwater archaeology of Ayutthaya

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No, not a reference to the recent floodinf of Ayutthaya, but to the shipwrecks of vessels carrying cargo from Ayutthaya now mainly resting in the Gulf of Siam. The Nation interviews Erbprem Vatcharangkul, director of the underwater archaeology division of the Thai Fine Arts Department.

Erbprem Vatcharangkul, Director of Underwater Archaeology at the Fine Arts Department. The Nation, 20120213

Erbprem Vatcharangkul, Director of Underwater Archaeology at the Fine Arts Department. The Nation, 20120213

The story beneath the sea
The Nation, 13 February 2012
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