via Bangkok Post, 04 February 2020: Feature on the book ‘Protecting Asia’s Heritage Yesterday And Tomorrow’ produced by the Siam Society, based on a conference that was organised last year which saw the participation of heritage advocates across Asia.
The conference — captured in a book titled Protecting Asia’s Heritage Yesterday And Tomorrow, released last month — was an opportunity to share experience, frustrations and plans. One focus was on the importance of a law for safeguarding heritage. Yongtanit Pimonsathean teaches at the Faculty of Architecture in Thammasat University, and has been involved in projects to protect local heritage for 25 years. Thailand’s laws are “centralised and top-down”, he says. They protect only major, physical monuments, and give little space for local people to participate. Elsewhere in the world, Yongtanit summarised, there has been a trend toward expanding the scope of legislation to more cultural properties, to draw up better criteria for identifying heritage, to include intangible heritage, to devolve power to localities, to integrate heritage into city planning, and to provide incentives for private investment in heritage.
Source: Safeguarding a saga