Thailand – Construction of new royal crematorium goes forward

PREPARATIONS for the construction of the royal crematorium for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang is progressing well with the crematorium’s base already built, while the designs of royal chariots and the six enamelled, gem-studded Royal Urns have also been initially approved.

The designs are now pending approval by the royal cremation coordination committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a senior official said yesterday. 

The late monarch passed away last October, plunging the Kingdom into grief.

Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapagorn, who chairs the committee overseeing the building of the royal crematorium and the restoration of royal chariots for the cremation ceremony, said everything should be ready for the crematorium’s main foundation pillar-setting ceremony slated for February 27. 

The Phra Thinang Songtham royal merit-making pavilion had already set the foundation and metal structure in preparation for the pouring of concrete, he said, adding that other structures, including the Sala Luk Khun government officials pavilions on the south side of Sanam Luang, were also being constructed. 

“Officials also have started work on the related items’ designs at the Withanasathapakasala, a working space for artists. All the works have progressed so I’m confident that it will be complete by the September deadline,” he added.

He also said that the six Royal Urns – one of which will be situated at the Royal Palace’s Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall and the five others to be presented to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Royal Family members – each had a 20-centimetre base and were 80cm tall.

Fine Arts Department chief Anan Chuchote said the royal cannon chariot construction by the Royal Thai Army Ordnance Department would be completed in April, after which Fine Arts Department staff would decorate it.

Tanasak’s comments came yesterday after the committee’s meeting following an inspection at Sanam Luang and related facilities involved in the royal cremation construction.

Meanwhile, Somkuan Umtrakul, the director of the Office of the Traditional Arts, said a project to recruit volunteer artists to join the crematorium construction had already ceased accepting applicants. 

He said 385 artists specialising in various fields were now being screened and categorised by skill group so they could compete in a contest on February 27 as a means to assess their artistic skills.

Source: TheNation

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