Swiss Student Alumni Association honours late King Bhumibol

Bust of King Bhumibol

The Swiss Student Alumni Association has honoured the late King Bhumibol’s memory with a life-sized, bronze bust. The statue is now overlooking Lake Geneva in the western city of Lausanne. Bhumibol studied and lived in the canton of Vaud for 18 years, with authorities saying that he helped establish a friendship between Thailand and Switzerland.

The bust of the late King may become a new landmark for Thais to visit when touring Switzerland. The bust was presented yesterday as part of the association’s 72nd anniversary. The unveiling also comes at a time when the two countries celebrate the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Koblarp Poshakrishna, the Swiss Student Alumni Association’s President, says Switzerland plays a large part in Thai history as it was once home to two kings. King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great and King Ananda Mahidol both spent time in the country.

“This bronze bust will remind us of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, his dedication and his love for the people. We hope this bust will also bond Thais together regardless of where they are.”

The memorial, created by leading Thai sculptor Watchara Prayoonkham, was the first to honour King Bhumibol in Switzerland. The sculptor reportedly spent months studying old pictures and photos of the king when he was around 20 years old.

“Imagine that a man so young was made a king. While studying, he had to think about what was waiting for him in the future, and what he had to do as a king. So, I designed this bust to look as if the king was thinking about how he could help improve people’s quality of life, which he did successfully.”

Bhumibol’s time in Switzerland saw him earning a high-school diploma with a major in French literature, Latin, and Greek. Afterwards, in 1945, he had begun studying sciences at the University of Lausanne.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/Thai PBS World

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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