Mending the heart of a neighbourhood | Bangkok Post: travel

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Mending the heart of a neighbourhood

The restoration of the principal pagoda at a Bangkok temple has gained international recognition and fostered a sense of community

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Standing tall and graceful on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is the 60.5m-high white Phra Borommathat Maha Chedi of Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan. The almost 200-year-old iconic temple (or Wat Prayoon, as the locals call it) made headlines when the restoration of its ivory-white stupa and the adjoining hall, Pharin Pariyattithammasala, won the Award of Excellence in the 2013 Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, marking the first time that a Thai project has been recognised with such an esteemed honour. 

Wat Prayurawongsawas.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has recognised the restoration effort for its technical mastery in harmonising modern engineering with traditional techniques. More importantly, the award also recognises the cooperation between monks, specialists and locals in sustaining a sacred complex as the centre of community life.

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