The Nation



Temple up for World Heritage

Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan, a Buddhist temple complex in Nakhon Si Thammarat dating back to 311 (BE 854), has been nominated as a World Heritage site, pending approval by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Fine Arts Department said yesterday.

A nomination dossier must be completed by February 1 for the temple to be considered at an annual meeting of Unesco's World Heritage committee by 2014 or 2015, said director-general Somesuda Leeyawanich.

According to records, a chapel and pagoda were built in 311 to hold Buddha's relics. The main pagoda was built in 550, during the time of the Srivijaya empire. The temple and many buildings were registered as historic sites in 1936.

Somesuda said it meets three of 10 conditions to be considered a World Heritage site: a work based on creativity, lasting virtues expressing cultural or civilisational values and religiously related inheritance.

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