London university accused of accepting smuggled sculpture

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via The Nation, 14 June 2018: A developing story about the donation of a Lopburi-style sculpture to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, that was accepted without documentation of provenance. The details were first released by Dr Angela Chiu, an independent scholar, on her website.

The Culture and Foreign ministries are following up an accusation made by London University’s prominent School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), that it accepted as a gift a 13th-century sculpture possibly smuggled from Thailand.

Source: London university accused of accepting smuggled sculpture – The Nation

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The Sub Champa Museum and the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum

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Source: The Nation 20150627

Over the weekend the Nation featured two museums of archaeological interest in Thailand, the Sub Champa Museum in Lopburi and the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum in Pathum Thani.

Source: The Nation 20150627

Source: The Nation 20150627

How our ancestors lived
The Nation, 28 June 2015

Two museums, one of Lop Buri, the other in Pathum Thani, pay testament to the ancient way of life

The historical parks of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai have long been attracting tourists, both Thai and foreign, yet the ancient Dvaravati resettlement of Sub Champa in Lop Buri province, itself a fascinating historical site, is barely known outside the area.

Located in the Lop Buri-Pasak valley and a mere two hours by car from Bangkok, Sub Champa is a moated site that was a thriving Dvaravati city more than a millennium ago as well as a major trading centre in the central highlands.

Run today by the Subdistrict Administrative Organisation, it is promoting itself as a prototype local learning centre, one that encapsulates the Sub Champa Historical Site, the Sub Champa Museum and the Sirindhorn White Champak Forest. The site was discovered quite by accident back in 1970 during a pest eradication inspection by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and excavation started soon afterwards with an impression collection of artefacts, skeletons and ruins unearthed over the years.

Full story here.

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park to be nominated for world heritage

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U-sa's Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park in Udon Thani Province Thailand is to be nominated at Thailand’s next World Heritage site. This ridge in northeast Thailand is reminiscent of Cambodia’s Phnom Kulen, and contains a long history of human occupation from prehistoric rock paintings, to remains of Dvaravati, Lopburi/Khmer and recently Lan Xang cultures. It is a beautiful landscape and I was really fortunate to have investigated some of the sites there as part of my PhD research.

U-sa's Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

U-sa’s Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

Phu Phra Bat Park nominated for Unesco Heritage Site list
The Nation, 27 January 2015

Phu Phra Bat Park chosen for Unesco Heritage list
The Nation, 28 January 2015

The Culture Ministry has decided to nominate Udon Thani’s Phu Phra Bat Park as a Unesco World Heritage Site and will put the plan up for consideration at Parliament tomorrow.

Situated in Ban Phue district, the park features ruins and objects dating back to pre-historic times as well as to the Dvaravati, Lopburi, and Lan Xang periods.

The 1,200-acre site is located in the lush Phu Phra Bat Buabok Forest Park, where there are many peculiarly shaped rocks owing to slow-moving glaciers millions of years ago. Also, many of the ruins and objects – such as a rock shaped to look like a stupa and another chiselled to the shape of a foot – were not made entirely by hand.

Visitors can also admire the pre-historic paintings, sandstone images and idols. The Fine Arts Department declared the site a historical park in 1991.

Full story here and here.

Putting the sacred back into ancient temples

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A local advocacy group in Lopburi, Thailand, is seeking ways to restore the sense of sacredness into its ancient temples, after dissatisfaction over the way ancient temples have become predominantly used for moneymaking entertainment and tourism activities.

Wat Phra Sri Mahathat, Lop Buri Province. Bangkok Post, 20110307

Cherishing the Sacred
Bangkok Post, 07 March 2011
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