Given the importance of tangible cultural heritage, both built and artefacts, their protection and preservation are crucial and deserve high priority. Today, however, many cultural heritage objects and places are at risk of being damaged or lost as a result of natural disasters such as fires, floods, storms, as well as man-made disasters (industrial accidents, riots, terrorist incidents or wars), all of which impact cultural heritage both directly and indirectly.
Heritage for Peace is an international network of specialists based in Girona, Spain. It is a non-profit organization that aims to safeguard and protect cultural heritage in emergency situations. The organization has experience and knowledge of developing risk-management measures for cultural heritage in emergency situations at an international level. One of the organization’s significant accomplishments is its work in Syria.
In this context, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA), as an organization involved in cultural heritage conservation, realizes the importance of safeguarding and protecting cultural heritage in different kinds of situations. The Centre has invited Drs Rene Teijgeler, senior specialist in cultural heritage protection of the Heritage for Peace, to share his experience and plan of work with related institutions, organizations, and communities in Thailand in consultative meetings on “Risk Management for Cultural Heritage in Emergency Situations”.
“The Rattanakosin Island”, a significant area that contains highly valuable cultural heritage of Thailand, is chosen as a case study for the development of risk-management measures that will serve as guidelines for the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage in other areas in Thailand.
Develop guidelines on implementing measures for the risk management of cultural heritage in emergency situations.
Preliminary measures and guidelines for the risk management of cultural heritage in emergency situations in the Rattanakosin area.
This programme was divided into two classes for two groups of participants:
Day 1 was for the representatives of Fine Arts Department.
Drs Rene Teijgeler (senior specialist in cultural heritage protection of the Heritage for Peace), who was the resource person, shared his experiences and knowledge of work to protect the collections, monuments, archaeological sites, etc. during emergency situations in many countries, especially in Syria.
After his presentation, the participants shared information and experiences to protect their museums during floods in 2011 with discussions following.
Day 2 was for the representatives from other state heritage institutions and communities.
After Drs Rene Teijgeler finished his presentation, the representatives from communities shared experiences and work to protect their heritages in each community.
Day 1: the representatives of Fine Arts Department; 16 participants from Office of National Museum, Office of National Library, Office of National Archives; and Directors of all National Museums located in Rattanakosin Island (old Bangkok).
Day 2: the representatives from other state heritage institutions and communities; 17 participants (3 from Siam Society under Royal Patronage, 2 from Fire and Rescue Department, Bangkok Metropolitan, 1 from Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University, 1 from Society for the Conservation of National Treasure and Environment, and 10 from communities).