A fundraising art auction, titled “Art for Life – Mercy Mission” in Bangkok on Sunday fetched more than Bt10 million – twice the estimate – for the construction of a new Bt800-million emergency centre.
The “Chalerm Phrakiat HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn” emergency centre will be built at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital.
Nearly 100 collectors gathered at Queen Sirikit Art Centre, where 23 works of art were sold. Conducted by Yawanee Nirandara of Christie’s auction house, the sale fetched a total of Bt10,235,429. Jay Mart chief executive officer Adisak Sukumvitaya was among the big spenders at the auction. Spending over Bt3 million, he went home with eight works of art including the most expensive one – Chatchai Puipia’s 2018 oil painting “Kaewta Kwanjai” depicting His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) and HM Queen Sirikit. It fetched Bt2 million although the auctioneer’s estimate was only Bt400,000. Others bidders included former prime minister Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, and collectors Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, Prapawadee Sophonpanich and Punchalee Penchart
The hospital has been raising funds by hosting various events, including runs and concerts, along with other donation campaigns that have so far earned more than Bt400 million. The “Mercy Mission” is the first time the hospital has raised funds by hosting an art auction and it received good feedback.
“The new emergency centre aims at to reduce the loss of life,” said Dr Somchai Assawasudsakorn, director of Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital. “Our hospital is overloaded. We service patients in Nakhon Ratchsima, Chaiyaphun, Buri Rum and Surin. We have around 4,300 outpatients per day. The 1,300-bed hospital services over 1,600 inpatients a day. We have over 300 emergency patients a day.”
As it is the gateway province to the northeast of Thailand, road accidents often happen in Naknon Ratchasima during holiday seasons. During the New Year holiday last year, the province had the Kingdom’s highest road fatality rate, with 17 deaths.