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Hunt on for monument caretaker

Hunt on for monument caretaker

BANGKOK: Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered agencies to identify the caretaker of Victory Monument as City Hall prepares to embark on a project for the restoration of 15 monuments in the capital.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 11 September 2018, 09:18AM

Victory Monument was erected in June 1941 to commemorate the Thai victory in the Franco-Thai War. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya

Victory Monument was erected in June 1941 to commemorate the Thai victory in the Franco-Thai War. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya

Gen Prawit said that the Victory Monument was not under the care of the War Veterans Organisation (WVO).

The problem came to public attention on July 2 as city officials attempted to find out which agency was responsible for Victory Monument as plans for its restoration were drawn up ahead of a request for budget allocation.

Victory Monument has been located where three roads – Phaya Thai, Ratchawithi and Phahon Yothin – meet, since 1942, and marks the bravery of those military personnel, police officers and civilians who died during the Franco-Thai War over disputed territories in French Indochina in 1940-41.

On Feb 3, which marks Thai Veterans’ Day, the WVO, war veterans and their families lay flowers at the monument in memory of the fallen.

Deputy city clerk Somphong Wiangkaeo said City Hall has written to seek information from the Fine Arts Department and owners of the land where historic sites and monuments are located to find out who are responsible for them.

For monuments with no caretakers, City Hall will ask the department and land owners to hand them over to City Hall, so city administrators can request budgets to improve and develop them into tourist spots.

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Mr Somphong previously said that City Hall plans to improve Victory Monument’s landscape by adding a walkway and a tunnel to give people better access.

But because the development involves a request for state budget, it is important to know first who or which agency is officially responsible for the historic site, he said.

City Hall is working with the Treasury Department to find out whether certain state agencies were in the past assigned to take care of Victory Monument and 14 other memorials across the capital. They include the statues of King Rama I near Memorial Bridge, King Rama VI in Lumpini Park, King Taksin the Great at Wong Wian Yai and Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Ave.

Another 39 archaeological sites in Bangkok, which are listed with the Fine Arts Department, have also come under scrutiny over the same issue, Mr Somphong said, adding that City Hall has no record stating they are assets under its care.

Read original story here.

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