Message from the ICOMOS Thailand President
Welcome to Thailand
Dear ICOMOS colleagues,
On behalf of ICOMOS Thailand, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your warm support to ICOMOS Thailand in hosting the Annual General Assembly 2022 from 25-31 October 2022 at the Fine Arts Department, Bangkok, Thailand.
Initially we planned to organise this important event at Udon Thani, one of the main provinces in northeast Thailand, where is home to Ban Chiang, a world-known archaeological site which has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1992. Ban Chiang has been recognized and become world-famous for its red-on-buff ware, distinguished by the red paint designs and forms of the pottery created freehand without the use of pottery wheel. Furthermore, the province is culturally and naturally rich due to its geographical location and historical background. I would like to mention Phu Phra Bat , a sacred mountain where evidence of forest monastery tradition of Theravada Buddhism can be seen in an ingenious landscape adaptation by which the open space is surrounded by Sema stones to create a sacred area for Buddhist religious gathering, being the unique and pure form of Buddhist architecture that is simple, functional, and true to the Buddhist concept. Nowadays Udon Thani is seen as a multi-cultural city resulted from being one of the strategic areas during the cold war. The melting of Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Laotian cultures can be seen from its cuisines, religious places, and festivals throughout the year.
Unfortunately, due to unexpected circumstance, the event was moved from Udon Thani to Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, where is more reasonable and convenient for our membership in close consultation with the ICOMOS Secretariat. With a kind support of the Thai Fine Arts Department (FAD) and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA), the event will be held at the organisations’ compound located at the heart of Bangkok where is one of the most vibrant, fascinating and culturally rich areas of the country.
The first hybrid statutory meetings and General Assembly of ICOMOS will be held from 25-28 October 2022, followed by the Scientific Symposium on 29-30 October 2022 with various side events during the week. A site visit around Bangkok’s historic area hosted by the FAD and SEAMEO SPAFA will be offered in the morning of 29 and 30 October 2022 as well as a full-day excursion on 31 October 2022. Please see the updated information of these activities in our website.
Since at the beginning Udon Thani was chosen to be a venue for the ADCOM and AGA this year, its significance as a place of forest monastery tradition was conceptualized when the Scientific Symposium was developed. In consequences, the theme of a two-half-day Scientific Symposium: RELIGIOUS HERITAGE : Celebrating and Conserving Places of Religious and Ritual Significance in a Global World and in Changing Climates is proposed together with five sub-themes:1) Significance of Places of Religion and Ritual, 2) Influence of Climate Changes on Conservation Protection and Management of Religious Heritage, 3) Changing Use and Perception of Places of Religion and Ritual following the Covid 19 Pandemic, 4) Pilgrimage and 5) Reuse of Religious Heritage places.
This 2022 ICOMOS Annual General Assembly, Extraordinary General Assembly, the Advisory Committee meetings and the Scientific Symposium, I believe, will be a wonderful opportunity for us to reunite and start our next norms after the pandemic in digital era. Please join us in Bangkok, physically as well as virtually to make this event meaningful and unforgettable.