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Friday, October 28, 2016

Thailand - Public participation allowed in building of Royal Crematorium


Fine Arts Department prepares historic royal carriages and palanquins for use

MEMBERS OF the public will be able to contribute to the construction of the royal crematorium and related accessories for the much-revered HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
“We will allow public participation,” Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn said yesterday.

The King passed away at the age of 89 on October 13, plunging the nation into deep grief.
The government is now in the process of preparing the royal crematorium and related accessories for the grand royal cremation of the monarch. The process is expected to be completed in a year.

“The Fine Arts Department has already surveyed the condition of the royal carriages and royal palanquins housed in the National Museum of Bangkok, to prepare for the royal procession of the cremation ceremony of His Majesty the King,” said Ananda Chuchoti, director-general of the Fine Arts Department.

He said the department would work closely with scientists in the cleansing process of the royal carriages and royal palanquins while artisans of the Office of Traditional Arts will be in charge of restoring any damaged parts.

“We don’t know yet the details of the royal procession but our task is to prepare these royal carriages and royal palanquins for use,” he added.

Maha Phichai Ratcharot (The Royal Great Victory Carriage), three Ratcharot Noi (Small Carriages), two Phra Yannamas Sam Lamkhan (Golden Palanquin with Three Beams) and two Krirk (Mechanical Hoist) are housed at the National Museum of Bangkok.

The Royal Great Victory Carriage, built in the reign of King Rama I, is 11.20 metres high, 15.30 metres long and weighs 13.7 tonnes and requires 216 men to pull it. In the ceremonial procession, it was used to carry the Royal Urn of Their Majesties the King and the Queen and high-ranking royal families to the royal crematorium.

The Royal Great Victory Carriage was first used for King Rama I’s father in ceremonies in 1796. It was last used in 2011 during the royal cremation ceremony of Princess Phetcharat Ratchasuda, the daughter of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI).