by the Siam Society under Royal Patronage

Thailand’s Buddhist Cultural Heritage:
The Preservation Challenge

The Siamese Heritage Protection Program
to Commemorate the 84th Birthday of
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Patron of The Siam Society
In co-operation with the Senate sub-Committee for the Study and Promotion
of Cultural Heritage Management which is under the Senate Standing Committee on Religions, Morals, Ethics, Arts and Culture
has pleasure in presenting a seminar on

Thailand’s Buddhist Cultural Heritage: The Preservation Challenge
On Wednesday, 21 March 2012 at 1:15 – 4:30 p.m. at The Siam Society


Buddhist temples around Thailand all share certain fundamental features in common-not only architectural design, but also cultural role in the community. But over the centuries, the appearance of temples, and the cultural activities associated with temples, in different parts of the kingdom have exhibited great diversity, reflecting different local and regional cultural styles, different historical development, and the tastes of different eras of Thai history. This diversity enriches Thai culture and is part of the pride and identity of the regions of the country.

In recent decades, this diversity has declined, as diverse local styles and practices have been replaced by a homogenous Bangkok-centric national style of temple architecture and cultural practice. Local styles and practices are less understood, less cherished, and less followed, reducing the rich diversity of Thai temple architecture.

For panel discussion:

  1. Why is this diversity of temples being lost?
  2. What can be done at national and community levels to promote appreciation and preservation of local temple traditions in the face of pressure to conform to “approved” styles applied nationwide?


Seminar program:




1:15 p.m.   

Welcome speech by Mrs. Bilaibhan Sampatisiri, the Siam Society President
Chairperson of the Sub-Committee for the Study and Promotion of
Cultural Heritage Management which is under the Senate Standing Committee
on Religions, Morals, Ethics, Arts and Culture

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

Keynote speech by Asst. Prof. Dr. Piriya Krairiksh



1:45 – 4:30 p.m. 

A panel discussion on Thailand’s Buddhist Cultural Heritage:
The Preservation Challenge

Panelists consist of;

  • Phra Rajawethee,
    Assistant to the abbot of Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm
  • Phra Adhikarnprasart Khemapunyo,
    Abbot of Wat Thamaram, Ayutthaya Province 
  • Acharn Sulak Sivaraksa,
    Former editor of The Journal of Siam Society and preeminent Thai scholar  
  • Asst. Prof. Dr. Piriya Krairiksh,
    Scholar in art history, former director of the Siam Society, former director of
    the Thai Khadi Research Institute and lecturer of the Faculty of Fine and
    Applied Arts, Thammasat University
  • Dr. Vasu Poshyanandana,
    Architect of the Office of Architecture, The Fine Arts Department
  • Acharn Anukul Siripun,
    Director of the Office of Student Affair, Lampang Inter-Tech College and
    head of Ban Pongsanuk community, Lampang Province

Moderated by

  • Acharn Savitri Suwansathit, Former Deputy Permanent Secretary for
    Education and ex officio Secretary General, Thailand National Commission for
    UNESCO; currently advisor to the Ministry of Culture

4:30 p.m.

End program



Remark: This seminar will be conducted in Thai. It is open to public without admission fee. Sharing of opinions is open to the public during the seminar. As there is no intermission, food and beverage will be arranged for self-service during the seminar.


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