Damage to historic site draws online ire
published : 20 Aug 2019 at 16:08
writer: Sunthorn Pongpao
The Fine Arts Department (FAD) came under fire for allegedly allowing a contractor to damage a section of Ayutthaya's historic Wat Chaiwatthanaram for a lighting and underground wiring project.
Netizens, enraged by a Facebook post that showed the damage on a low brick wall at the northern section of the ancient temple known as Kamphaeng Kaew, accused the FAD of neglect.
Arunsak Gingmanee, FAD's deputy chief, said that a part of the brick wall was dismantled to make way for lighting and underground wire works.
He insisted that the works are supervised directly by FAD officials and archaeologists, and that the foundation of the wall is not affected.
Mr Arunsak also said that the dismantled brick work will be restored as soon as the works are finished.
Sukanya Baonoed, the director of Ayutthaya Historical Park, on Tuesday inspected the site and said the photo that purportedly showed a "damaged" section of the wall was not actually a part of the original structure.
However, she said that her team will gather all the information they need at the site and report the matter to the department's director-general.
"It looks like some damage was done, but it is something that we can definitely explain," said Ms Sukanya.
The Provincial Electricity Authority was contracted by the government to carry out the works, she said.
Local activist, Itthiphan Khaolamai, said that civic groups in the province are still waiting for a clarification from the FAD.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram, considered as one of the most famous temples in Thailand, attracts thousands of tourists every week. The site began to draw large crowds early last year, due to the popularity of the period TV series Bupphesanniwat, or "Love Destiny".