Phetchabun pushing for archaeological museum

Phetchabun pushing for archaeological museum

Phetchabun: Conservationists are pushing for a museum to be built at Si Thep Historical Park to house archaeological artefacts found in this lower northern province.

The president of Phetchabun Cultural Council, Wisan Kositanon, said the provincial administration will submit a proposal to set up a national museum at Si Thep Historical Park to the Fine Arts Department (FAD) under the Ministry of Culture, saying the region has plenty of archaeological finds which should be preserved for future generations.

Mr Wisan said large amounts of ancient artefacts dating up to 1,000 years ago -- which include evidence of human activities and habitation -- have been found in the park. "As such, the park needs its own space to house objects from the park which are now displayed or stored in other museums across the country," he said.

In addition, he said, the museum will cement the park's historical value in the eyes of international organisations such as the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), which has yet to include the park in its list of World Heritage Sites.

The FAD is currently dividing the park into core and buffer zones to limit activities at the site, as per Unesco's recommendation, before presenting a draft to residents, cabinet and Unesco for consideration.

Mr Wisan said that more people would be willing to return objects they unearthed in the park to authorities if the state has a proper facility to store and conserve them.

He added that a number objects dug up in the rest of the province have yet to be displayed to the public because of the lack of space, and the object count is set to increase as the FAD works on nearby archaeological sites. "We have enough artefacts to warrant the construction of our own museum," he said.

The proposal will be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome on Thursday, when they are scheduled to visit Phetchabun to chair the province's annual Buddha bathing ceremony.

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