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Wat Chaiwatthanaram Condition Assessment Completed

Emphasizing a dynamic partnership philosophy, Thai Fine Arts Department (FAD) and World Monuments Fund (WMF) collaborated to complete a condition assessment at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, part of the ancient city of Ayutthaya. The team, consisting of architects, conservators, and engineers, spent more than two weeks mapping conditions, recording materials, and understanding the configuration of one of the temple’s four-story conical masonry towers known as a meru, an architectural metaphor for a sacred mountain, the center of all the physical, metaphysical, and mystical universes in Buddhism cosmology. The process allowed the surveyors to gain an in-depth understanding of deterioration patterns.

Following the assessment, observations and preliminary treatment recommendations were presented to FAD Director General Bovornvate Rungrujee and his project committee toward defining a conservation action plan for two of the eight Wat Chaiwatthanaram merus and their connected gallery of Buddha statuary, where site work will start later this year. The assessment ended with a site visit on May 20, 2015, by Chargé d’affaires ad interim at U.S. Mission Thailand W. Patrick Murphy, Ayutthaya Governor Apichat Todilokvech, and Deputy Director General of the FAD Sahabhum Bhumtitterat, to witness these important efforts to preserve Wat Chaiwatthanaram.