Culture Ministry insists Ayutthaya ruins to remain world heritage

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BANGKOK, 8 May 2012 – Culture Minister Sukumol Khunploem has played down a report about the Ayutthaya ruins topping the list of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia, noting that the report was not prepared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

Mrs Sukumol insisted that Thailand’s Ayutthaya Historical Park will continue to be listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO as it has been since 1991. According to the minister, UNESCO officials have confirmed that they have no plan to remove the ancient ruins from the world heritage site list.

Mrs Sukumol also questioned the credibility of the report, adding that UNESCO experts have been visiting and inspecting the site with Thai officials on a regularly basis and have not found it to be under any threat of deterioration.

The Culture Ministry is in the process of requesting further clarification from the Global Heritage Fund (GHF), which published the top-ten list of most vulnerable sites.

According to the GHF, the Ayutthaya Historical Park sustained major damages during last year’s flood crisis. Its report also claimed that the site is being threatened by mismanagement and lack of restoration budget.