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Thai historians aghast as faux-marble floor tiles used to renovate 300 year old temple

Maya Taylor

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Thai historians aghast as faux-marble floor tiles used to renovate 300 year old temple | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wara Chanmanee/Facebook

“The aluminium roof and mosaics bought from the market give this the same aesthetic as a food court.”

On hearing that an historic Buddhist temple is undergoing renovation, one wouldn’t expect cheap floor tiles from the local hardware store to be used… But academics and netizens are, not surprisingly, up in arms after a restoration project in Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok, resulted in the 300 year old Wat Bang Duang Nok being refitted with faux-marble floor tiles and an aluminium roof.

Such is the damage, that academic Wara Chanmanee claims the temple has been stripped of its architectural and historical importance, according to a report in Khaosod English. Wara visited the temple on Monday, to find the floors and walls covered in white and faux marble patterned tiles, the carved wooden gable pulled apart, and an aluminium roof fitted.

“It’s such a huge loss. At the very least this temple dated from the late Ayutthaya era. How can you destroy a historical site? It was so beautiful. We all pretend to love historical sites, but when problems happen, everyone says they aren’t responsible. All sense of civilisation is destroyed. The temple is rebuilt with lower standards than a rich person’s bathroom.”

“The aluminium roof and mosaics bought from the market give this the same aesthetic as a food court.”

The redecorating controversy comes as a Bangkok university finds itself under fire for its plans to demolish a Chinese shrine in order to build student dorms. It’s the latest in a string of contentious decisions, such as a temple in north-east Thailand being painted pink and orange, and the demolition of a colonial-era trading post in the north of the country. Three weeks ago, an artist came in for sharp criticism after painting a famous comedienne into a Buddhist mural she was working on at a temple in Uthai Thani, northern Thailand.

Wara has taken to social media to voice his dismay at the latest developments, and plans to lodge a formal complaint with the Fine Arts Department regarding the cheap ‘make over’ of Wat Bang Duang Nok.

“Most or almost all of the historical sites in our country are being destroyed. When will it stop? Will we let stupidity, ignorance, or benefits trump the value of historical places?”

It’s understood a previous restoration attempt at the temple in 2018 was stopped by the Fine Arts Department, and a representative says it plans to investigate the matter.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Phil Luttrell

    Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    ONE PHOTO?? If this story had any importance if the historic temple had importance, why not enough to come up with some photos illustrative of the subject? I understand that the writer and editors may be strapped for time. It’s a sign of the times, perhaps. Neither the temple nor the news outlet has the resources to “do it right”, I suspect.

  2. Avatar

    me

    Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    whoa “an historic.” followed by,

    “But academics and netizens are, not surprisingly, up in arms after a restoration project in Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok, resulted in the 300 year old Wat Bang Duang Nok being refitted with faux-marble floor tiles and an aluminium roof.”

    some sentence you got there! sign it up for a marathon.

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Events

Houseowner discovers 3,000 year old skeletons on land in Ang Thong province

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Houseowner discovers 3,000 year old skeletons on land in Ang Thong province | The Thaiger

A houseowner in the central province of Ang Thong, has discovered 3 skeletons on his land that are thought to be over 3,000 years old. 54 year old Somkiat Briboon says this most recent discovery isn’t the first, as the first lot of bones was found last year after preparing his 17 rai worth of land, in Sawang Ha District, to be rented out for sugarcane farming.

It was then that he found 9 skeletons, only later to find 6 more. The skeletons were found with bowls and other kitchen utensils found laying on top of them. He transferred the skeletons to his home, wrapping them in blue sheets, describing some of the bones as smaller in size, resembling that of women or children.

He says he also found ancient artifacts with the bones and arranged to have them shipped to Bangkok’s Fine Arts Department for research purposes. But he says he wants to eventually build his own museum housing the display of bones and artifacts for educational purposes.

Although the discovery is exciting, its creepiness factor has repelled Somkiat’s friends from visiting him as many are afraid of ghosts or spirits. To add to his friends’ concerns, he says ever since the skeletons and artifacts were moved into his home, strange things have been happening.

One of those unsettling things is the feeling that there are many people walking around inside his home at all hours of the day. He says when he tries to search for the source of the eery sounds, he finds nothing. Somkiat says he isn’t afraid of the spirits and even talks to them often. He even says his sleep isn’t disturbed as he sleeps well at night while the skeletons are in his home.

The Fine Arts Department has been notified of the most recent finding, but it is unclear on whether they will move the new skeletons to Bangkok to join the others.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Central Thailand

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers

Maya Taylor

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Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

An airline executive has been arrested in the central province of Samut Songkhram, after complaints from150 employees that they had not been paid. Chawengsak Noiprasan, who had a court warrant issued against him in October, was taken to Don Muang police station from a property in the Bang Khan Take sub-district. He is a board member of Siam Air Transport.

The airline began operations in October 2014 with services out of Don Mueang to Hong Kong, using 2 Boeing 737-300s. 2 Boeing 737-800s were added to its fleet in late 2015. It expanded by adding Zhengzhou and Guangzhou in China to its network in early 2015. In late 2015, the airline launched flights to Macau and Singapore. In 2017, the airline ceased all operations.

But according to an article in the Bangkok Post, the carrier operates a number of scheduled and charter flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The Post reports that, as Chawengsak signs the company’s legal paperwork, all legal matters concerning the airline fall to him.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau says the executive has admitted to ignoring a 30 day notice issued by the labour inspector and ordering the payment of wages to 150 workers. It’s understood he is also wanted in relation to 7 other cases.

The authorities sought Chawengsak’s arrest following complaints from employees who say they haven’t received their wages for 2 months. It’s understood the airline had previously deferred salary payments for over 8 months. 150 workers filed an official complaint with Don Mueang police and also approached media outlets, asking them to pressure the airline into paying the money owed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator

Maya Taylor

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Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

The governor of the central province of Samut Sakhon is slowly recovering after more than 2 months battling Covid-19. Weerasak Wichitsangsri tested positive for the virus in late December and subsequently ended up on a ventilator for over 40 days. It’s understood Weerasak’s time on the ventilator was a record for the hospital and at times, medics were unsure if he would recover.

Prasit Watanapa from the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital says Weerasak is now off the ventilator and able to breathe normally, as well as talking, walking, and eating unaided. The Pattaya News reports that the governor’s symptoms improved over the last week, but he remains under close medical supervision. Prasit says he will be tested for antibodies, to determine if he should receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Only his muscle functions still need to be treated. The medical team is considering if the governor could have his rehabilitation at home or at Siriraj Hospital. It all depends on his further recovery.”

Weerasak has now been in hospital for more than 2 months, after testing positive for the virus on December 28, after attending a meeting at Samut Sakhon hospital. The central province is seen as the epicentre of the second wave of the virus, which emerged late last year. Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, who was also at the meeting, had to self-isolate following Weerasak’s diagnosis.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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