The Underwater Archaeology Division will soon be set up under the Fine Arts Department now that the Public Sector Development Commission has approved the move.
Anek Seehamart, director-general of the department under the Culture Ministry, said the upgrade of the Underwater Archaeology Office to a division was prompted by a Unesco decision to relocate a training programme for underwater archaeology from Sri Lanka to the National Maritime Museum in Chanthaburi.
It is seen as good timing for Thailand and the department, ahead of the launch of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.
The new division will need 20 more permanent officials when amendments to the regulations of the ministry are completed.
A few officials would be temporarily borrowed from the department and other agencies.
The Public Sector Development Commission also approved the setting up of the Information Technology Centre under the department, which would digitally archive all of the department’s works and details on artefacts, besides handling communications between agencies under the department and the ministry, Anek added.