Tsunami memorial funding cut back

PHANG NGA: The head of the Phang Nga office of the Ministry of Culture today told the Gazette that the Cabinet this week approved an initial budget of 50 million baht for construction of a 1.5-billion-baht tsunami memorial in Bang Niang.

The original idea for the memorial park called for a 2-billion-baht high-tech dome off the beach at Bang Niang, a plan that was widely criticized as a waste of funds.

Prayoon Nusuk told the Gazette that the memorial was still in the planning stages and that his office had yet to receive any actual funding from any ministry for the project.

“I can’t say exactly what the memorial will look like, but I have heard that foreign architects will be involved in the design work and that it could have a half-Thai and half-international look when completed.

“It might be built as part of a complex that might also include a park, museum and public archives. The total budget for the entire project will be about 1.5 billion baht. I believe more exact information about the project will be made available soon,” he said.

The intended location of the project is on a 21-rai site of land in Bang Niang near the site where a Marine Police patrol boat grounded after being swept inland by the tsunami.

The boat had been stationed in the Khao Lak area during the tsunami to provide security for HRH Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya and her son, Master Bhumi Jensen. Master Bhumi was killed by the tsunami.

Phuket News
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