AFTER SERVING as venue for the grand cremation ceremonies for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October, the government yesterday began dismantling the Royal Crematorium at Sanam Luang in Bangkok.
An exhibition at the site had drawn more than 4 million visitors during the two months after the late King’s cremation.
Early yesterday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over a religious rite to mark the official beginning of the removal of the Royal Cremation structures.
Many loyal Thais joined the merit making by offering food to 89 monks. Buddhist rites were followed by Hindu rituals, as the Thai monarchy has embraced both Hindu and Buddhist concepts and they were reflected in the architecture of the Royal Crematorium.
Privy Council member General Surayud Chulanont presided over the rite ceremony for removal of the grand nine-tiered umbrella at the top of the Royal Crematorium.
“Work will finish in the middle of March. Some parts of the Royal Crematorium, the Songtham Pavilion and two other pavilions, will be reconstructed and displayed at a new museum in Pathum Thani’s Klong 5, which is expected to open in two years,” said Vira Rojpojchanarat, Culture Minister.
“Most of materials used to build the Royal Crematorium and its surrounding pavilions, including wood and metal, will be dismantled and stored at the Historical Ayutthaya Park,” he added.
Decorations and paintings that adorned the key crematorium structures would first be moved to the Office of Traditional Arts in Nakhon Pathom province, said Anan Chuchote, director of the Fine Arts Department.
Other features will be relocated to a new museum in the province so that younger people can learn about Thai culture as represented by the monarchy by viewing the works.
Meanwhile Khun Sirikitiya Jensen, daughter of Princess Ubolratana, joined officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Farmers Welfare, and The Bureau of the Royal Household to harvest rice from the rice field that decorated the Royal Crematorium.
Suan Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Chon Buri, which provided |landscaping, will use some of the |plants to decorate the Winter Festival at Dusit’s Sanam Sue Pha in February.