Volunteer temple restorers ignite storm over Ayutthaya sema painting

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via The Nation, 16 October 2018: Devotees in Thailand repaint ancient boundary markers as an act of merit-making. Raises interesting questions about living heritage vs the “preservation” of heritage.

A recent case of merit-making at a Buddhist temple in Suphan Buri by painting on bai-sema – the sanctuary’s boundary markers – has raised concern among historians who say such acts have damaged the Ayutthaya-era artefacts.

Singer Suthep Prayoonpitak and his associates last week painted yellow colours on the boundary markers that encircle the main hall of Wat Chai-naram in Ayutthaya for their merit making. Responding to condemnation from a famous historian and some among the public that the group had destroyed centuries-old national heritage, Suthep replied they had first asked for the abbot’s permission before painting the artefacts.

Source: Volunteer temple restorers ignite storm over Ayutthaya sema painting