NEW YORK, NY.- World Monuments Fund
President Bonnie Burnham announced today receipt of a grant of $131,800 from the United States State Departments Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for work at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a Buddhist temple in the historic city of Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Ms. Burnham stated: Support from the State Departments Ambassadors Fund will assist the Thai Department of Fine Arts with continuing efforts to protect the site in light of increasingly severe flooding in the region and will advance conservation activities at the temple. In addition to the funds received from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, WMF has secured support from the Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve Our Heritage toward this project that will provide approximately $330,000 for on-site conservation activities, matching significant commitments from the Thai Government. WMF anticipates that the investment in conservation will have a catalytic effect for generating greater attention to the needs of Ayutthayas for the benefit of the community and visitors that value and treasure it.
The historic city of Ayutthaya was the capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and flourished as a major political, cultural, and economic center between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. The city was abandoned following destruction by a Burmese army in 1767. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991, in recent decades the archaeological park has faced periodic flooding, including a major inundation in 2011, which has put many of the iconic structures at risk. The Ambassadors Fund and WMF awards support testing, documentation, and conditions surveys at the flood-damaged Wat Chaiwatthanaramone of the most important monuments of Ayutthayaand the design of conservation and stabilization plans as well as implementation of priority conservation tasks at the temple. Fieldwork began in December 2012 and is ongoing.