PRESS FOCUS
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2014
84 Million Baht for phase 2 of Ayutthaya's World Heritage Site management
30 July 2014 - Bangkok: The Fine Arts Department, in cooperation with PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) are
committing a budget of 84 million baht for phase two of the Ayutthaya World Heritage Site management initiative. Mr. Anek Srihamat, Director-
General of the Ministry of Culture, Fine Arts Department and Mr. Tewin Wongwanich, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTTEP together
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today (30th July 2014) with regard to bilateral ties in helping to preserve the World Heritage
Culture sites of Thailand. The MoU aims to create awareness in society of the importance of the preservation of World Heritage Culture. This
cooperation is considered the start of the second phase of this project, which will run from 2014-2017. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
also honored the occasion by presiding at the event, and is an adviser to the project. Educational media for the public, such as designs for signs to the
ancient archaeological site, replica models of famous ancient temples in Ayutthaya such as Wat Phra Sri Sanpetch, Wat Phra Ram, Wat
Ratchaburana, Wat mahathat, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, and Wat Mae Nang Pleum, and other construction is estimated to be done within the year.
There will also be improvements made to the exhibition center, along with roads going to each archaeological site. It will all be made accessible for
disabled people, so that they can go to the site with ease, following international standards. Information will be provided to help facilitate access by
tourists along with multimedia to enrich the learning experience. [Source: National News Bureau & Public Relations (NNT), Correspondent: Panod
Srisinsuphya, Rewriter: Rodney McNeil]

Fine Arts and UNESCO urge renovation of Ayuthaya's ancient relics
31 May 2014 - AYUTHAYA: The provincial Fine Arts office in Ayuthaya has joined hands with UNESCO in hastening the renovation of ancient
relics that were damaged in the major flooding of 2011 and afterwards. Methadol Vichakana, the director of the 3rd Fine Arts office has announced
that more than 90 ancient structures in Ayuthaya's city island had been renovated in the past few years. Meanwhile, there are 100 sites still waiting for
attention. UNESCO has undertaken a survey and concluded that several important old temples are in need in emergency restoration, such as Wat
Yai Chai Mongkol and Wat Phra Sri San Petch. Methadol expressed his hope that if all the historic sites are restored and meet UNESCO's World
Heritage standard, Ayuthaya will rightly attract more tourists in the future. [Source: National News Bureau & Public Relations (NNT),
Correspondent: Busaba Siwasombun, Rewriter: Rodney McNeil]

US grants fund for renovation of ancient temple in Ayutthaya
9 January 2014 - Bangkok: On the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the Thai-US diplomatic relations this year, the US has offered a 700,000-
dollar fund to renovate the flood-ravaged
Wat Chai Watthanaram in Ayutthaya province.  At the National Museum in Bangkok today, a press
conference was held on the presentation of a fund worth 700,000 US dollars or 23 million baht by the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
(AFCP), which is under the supervision of the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Presiding over the conference was Director-General of
the Fine Arts Department Anek Sihamat, together with US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney and conservationist Jeff Allen from the World
Monuments Fund. The grant is aimed to support the restoration of Wat Chai Watthanaram in Ayutthaya which is one of many historical sites in
Thailand devastated by the great flood in late 2011. According to Mr Anek, the first phase of restoration has been successfully carried out and this
amount will be used to run Phase Two.  Mr Anek said he was honored to receive the fund on behalf of Thailand, saying it was part of the
celebrations for the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and the US this year. He added that the fundraising program for the
ancient temple’s rehabilitation was initiated by Mrs Kenney in 2011, when floods were wreaking havoc across Thailand. The US Ambassador said
she was glad to be able to lend a hand in returning the beauty to Wat Chai Watthanaram and preserving Thai culture. [Source: National News Bureau
& Public Relations (NNT), Correspondent : Surapan Laotharanarit', Rewriter : Surapan Laotharanarit]

US Grants Bt34 Million Fund for Wat Chai's Restoration

The United States provides Bt34 million totally to Ayutthaya's Wat Chai Watthanaram restoration project, said Fine Arts Department director-
general Anek Sihamat yesterday. Anek said the
World Monument Fund (WMF) said they would give 347,000 USD (about Bt11 million) to the
temple restoration project's phase 2, after the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) had last year funded the project at 700,000
USD (about Bt23 million). Such aid helped boost the two countries' diplomatic ties which had been going on for 180 years now, he added. Anek
went on that the US embassy also had continuously aided the restoration of ancient sites in Ayutthaya that were hit by the 2011 flood by sending
experts to survey the sites and provide suggestions to the Thai department in restoring the sites. In the Wat Chai Watthanaram restoration project's
phase 2 to commence in February, the US would send six experts to work with the department officials in collecting architecture data. They would
use a 3D-laser camera to check the temple structure, do geological exploration on soil layers and water-retention capacity for further research and
construction of flood barriers, and install water pressure-measuring devices within the temple compound, according to him. The press conference for
such grant would be organised on January 9 at the National Museum's Samrammukhamat Pavilion. [The Nation, 8 January 2014, by Pakamas
Jaichalard]