Culture Minister led international diplomats to visit World Heritage Sites in Ayutthaya

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BANGKOK, 24 March 2012 – The Culture Ministry has led a group of international diplomats to inspect World Heritage sites in Ayutthaya Province.

Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome said that last year’s severe flooding has apparently affected and caused serious damages to World Heritage sites and various ancient ruins in Ayutthaya Province.

Mrs. Sukumol stated that UNESCO and several governments have expressed their concern and offered support for the restoration of all damaged historical sites, in the forms of grant, specialists and public donation.

In order to convince tourists about the ongoing restoration work, the Culture Ministry has led an international delegation, comprising ambassadors and their spouses from 23 countries as well as local and international media, on an inspection trip to all major sites in Ayutthaya.

The 2-day trip, which began on Friday, was also intended to strengthen diplomatic ties and boost confidence among foreign tourists.

Regarding the progress in the restoration of damaged ancient sites, Fine Arts Department Deputy Director-General Anek Seehamart said that the department is now in the process of finding contractors to restore more than 10 major historical attractions, including Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.

Mr. Anek expects the actual work to commence at the beginning of April.