Aswin backs down on Bangkok Art and Culture Centre grab

national May 15, 2018 01:00

By Phatarawadee Phataranawik
The Nation

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AFTER CRITICISM went viral online over the weekend against Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang’s plan to take over the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, the governor yesterday finally posted on his Facebook account that he would step back.



“If many people do not agree with the BMA’s plan take over BACC, we will leave it,” Bangkok Governor Aswin posted.

“This valuable art and culture centre will be the pride of our city,” he added. His new approach appears to be to transfer management of the centre to the city in 2021.

Aswin’s first plan drew strong reactions on social media over the weekend, with many artists voicing their opposition via Facebook.

Meanwhile Kallaya Kassakul, the artist network coordinator, on Saturday posted a call on www.Change.org for supporters to join a campaign under the hashtag #freebacc.

As of Monday at 5pm, more than 13,000 supporters had agreed to fight to free the art centre from City Hall and allow the Art and Culture Centre Foundation to continue running it.

Today the Artists Network for Free BACC will head to Government House to propose in a letter to PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha that he dismiss Asawin over his initial plan to turn the arts centre into a learning centre staffed by BMA bureaucrats.

The letter contains three requests. First, that the BACC Foundation continue running the art centre. Second, funding the art centre be made BMA policy. Finally, he dismissal of Governor Aswin. The group will be led by Vasan Sithiket, Chumpol Apisuk and Manit Stowanichoom.

Meanwhile, the BMA Council, chaired by Asawin, is scheduled to hold a meeting today to find the solution to the dispute. 

The meeting will discuss two issues. First, whether to allow the non-profit BACC Foundation to run the art centre until the current contract is runs out in 2021. Second, whether to transfer its management to the BMA’s Culture, Sport and Tourism Department after 2021.