AYUTTHAYA, 30 April 2013: Thailand’s Fine Arts Department reports most of the flood-damaged historical parks in Ayutthaya have been restored about 18 months after floods devastated the central plains province.
The department on Monday said renovations at Thailand’s old capital of Ayutthaya, was now 80% complete.
On Sunday, the department general director, Sahawat Naenna, led a high-level UNESCO delegation to visit the Ayutthaya’s historical park, centuries-old temples and the anti-flood embankments on the banks of the Chao Phya River, built to keep the annual floods at bay.
AYUTTHAYA, 28 March 2013: World Heritage sites in Ayutthaya province will be the first in the country to have a full-scale flood risk mitigation plan supported by UNESCO and ADB.
Ayutthaya was the worst hit province during the 2011 flood and hundreds of historical sites were damaged with some still undergoing restoration.
UNESCO Bangkok director, Gwang-Jo Kim, said: “Disaster risk mitigation is one of the top priorities for World Heritage protection identified by the World Heritage Committee.”
COUTANCES, FRANCE, 28 February 2013: The mayor of Mont Saint-Michel was fined 10,000 euros (US$13,000) Wednesday for rerouting shuttle services to the French landmark and UNESCO heritage site to boost exposure for businesses he owns.
It required tourists to walk almost a kilometre from town’s main bus station to the shuttle bus pick-up point.
Eric Vannier, 60, was found to have changed the pick-up point for shuttle buses to the famed rocky outcrop with its Gothic-style Benedictine abbey to one located next to a hotel and restaurant he owns.
SIEM REAP, 13 December 2012: Cambodia’s deputy prime minister and the National Commission for UNESCO chairman, Sok An, warns that deforestation around the World Heritage Angkor Wat will degrade the views and scenic beauty of the temple surroundings.
Mr Sok An said the surrounding forest, known as Phnom Kulen, needed immediate attention to restore the natural beauty of the views from the temple complex.
Commercial enterprises, real estate developers and village communities cut the forest around the historical complex which is not fully protected by law.
BANGKOK, 6 December 2012: The International Court of Justice will organise a public hearing, 15 to 19 April, next year, at The Hague in Netherlands on the territorial dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over the Preah Vihear temple.
Both countries will be allocated three sessions to present their arguments on interpretation of the ICJ’s 1962 ruling that granted Cambodia ownership of the 11th-century temple, which is perched on the ridge of a 525-metre high cliff.
Ownership of the temple has been a contentious issue between the countries for more than a century and a flashpoint in Thai politics.
HANOI, 3 December 2012: Vietnam’s National Assembly approved a law, last week, that makes the Khue Van Cac (Pavilion of the Constellation of literature) in Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) the symbol of Hanoi.
The votes were cast at the 13th National Assembly with 77.31% of the deputies favouring ‘Khue Van Cac’ as the symbol for Hanoi, while 14.86% disagreed.
According to the committee, Khue Van Cac reflects the country’s ancient culture and the city was already using the symbol.
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 29 November 2012: Thailand’s Fine Arts Department said the golden spire on the chedi at Wat Phra Mahathat is deteriorating and needs urgent restoration.
The province’s Fine Arts Bureau director, Anat Bumrungwong, said agency workers and technical staff are assessing the condition of the golden pinnacle.
“A close up photo of the spire found a rust-like solution leaking from the top of the cone-shaped spire,” he said. “The damage could be similar to a previous problem when plaster decayed some 20 years earlier.”
CA MAU, 27 November 2012: This southernmost province’s Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape) National Park will be recognised as a new world Ramsar site and the fifth site in Vietnam.
Ca Mau Agriculture and Rural Development Department said the World Environment Organisation will announce the official recognition of the park, 13 December.
The 41,862-hectare site, including 15,262 hectares of land and 26,600 hectares of coastal areas, are mainly saline wetlands.
THUA THIEN-HUE, 7 November 2012: The province’s People Committee gave a green light on a three-year project to renovate Ngo Mon, an iconic gate of the former royal city of Hue.
According to the committee, the project aims to prevent water seepage through the foundations and to preserve the upper pavilion, known as Lau Ngu Phung (Pavilion of Five Phoenixes).
The first stage of the project, to begin in 2013, will cost US$2.1 million and is scheduled to be completed in three years.
HA GIANG, 30 October 2012: The provincial People’s Committee says developing tourism is key to improving economy and living conditions of local people in Ha Giang, a far-north province noted for its community-based tourism.
The committee vice chairman, Nguyen Minh Tien, said that due to its status as home to UNESCO World Heritage nature sites — Dong Van Plateau and the terrace fields in Hoang Su Phi district — tourism could help build economic prosperity.
Ha Giang located in northeast Vietnam shares a 270 km long border with Yunnan province of South China, and is known as Vietnam’s final frontier.