Heritage Management Thailand. Report
Projects that seek to transfer knowledge and technologies to support cultural heritage management with the aim of supporting sustainable development need to recognize that such management is always a set of dynamic practices emerging from both: historical and cultural contingencies of a place as well as global discourses, resource flows and standards. This report creates the basis for such understanding in the context of the URGENT project (https://www.imw.fraunhofer.de/en/research/innovation-acceptance/projects/YOU2.html) by understanding the meanings of cultural heritage, as well as the approaches to management and its history in Thailand. We first describe various dimensions of heritage management in Thailand. Compared to many other countries, Thailand has a long history of heritage man agement and conservation. From the mid-19th century onwards there was a change in the aim of conservation from religious piety to national pride as the state took over responsibility for the protection of cultural heritage. Despite the dominance of governmental agencies in heritage management, especially the role of the Fine Arts Department, community participation has seen an increase in the past decades. One of the most established non-governmental organizations working in the field of cultural heritage management is the Siam Society, which has listed a number of short-comings in the approaches to heritage management in Thailand, including lack of policy frameworks to guide activities and an overly centralized approach that ignores local diversity. But Thailand also features excellent examples of heritage management ranging from successful involvement of local community as in the case of Lopburi town to the preservation of intangible heritage as in the case of the Shadow Puppet Show at Wat Khanon.
Busse von Colbe, Jakob