Wat Phra Mahathat added to tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site list


PHNOM PENH, June 21 — Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan in Thailand’s southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Friday was endorsed on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The 37th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh added Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan (Wat Phra Mahathat) to the list of the World Heritage Sites in the cultural category.

Somsuda Leeyawanich, Fine Arts Department Director General and a UNESCO World Heritage committee member, said this was the starting point of the process to inscribe Wat Phra Mahathat as a UNESCO World Heritage property in the future.

From now, she said, the provincial committee must prepare the completed documents specifying the significant cultural features of the site which have outstanding universal value and suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.

The document must be filed to the World Heritage Centre by February 2014 and the process would take 18 months before the nomination would be given for consideration by the World Heritage Committee.

Until now, Thailand has four cultural and natural properties included in the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites which include the Kaeng Krachan forest complex; Phimai and its Cultural Route and the associated temples of Phanomroong and Muangtam; and Phuphrabat Historical Park.

The WHC is currently holding its 37th session in Phnom Penh to consider inscribing 30 new properties on the World Heritage List. The session will last until June 27.