Pictured is the main vihara of Phra Chao Phan
As part of a UNESCO initiative, a Museum-to Museum project was
recently launched at Lampang province’s historical Wat Pong Sanook. The
project involves training in the preservation and restoration of the
temple’s Phar Chao Phan Ong chapel, selected from 45 projects in 13
countries, all of which had received UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards of
Merit for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2008. The project is being fully
supported by the US government.
are beautiful golden Buddha images which are housed in the main vihara of
Wat Pong Sanook.
The training course, entitled, ‘Lampang Temples pilot training in Collection
Management’, was attended by a number of Buddhist monks from Lampang and
nearby monasteries. The aim is to create a body of knowledge in the
management and preservation of historical sites, buildings and historical
artefacts in temple collections and museums. The course is being held with
the cooperation and assistance of Chiang Mai University and Australia’s
Deakin University. It is hoped that the knowledge gained regarding the
significance and preservation of Lanna Buddhist arts will be shared with
On June 16, at the temple, the course was officially opened. All concerned
with the project were at the launch, including the Lampang governor, Somboon
Sripattanawat, Lampang’s mayor Dr Nimitre Jiawasantikarn, CMU’s
vice-president of research, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Daorung Kangwanphong, CMU’s dean
of fine arts, Assoc. Prof. Somkiat Tungnamo, UNESCO’s representative Ajaan
Monthira Horayangkoon, the US Consul-General, Michael Morrow and the
representative from Deakin University, Jonathan Sweet.
Kru Sophit Khantayaporn, the abbot of Wat Pong Sanook, pictured during the
The ancient chapel of Phra Chao Phan Ong has been undergoing restoration
since 2004, focusing on the preservation of techniques, methods, materials
and traditional sculptural forms, with support from monks, academics,
students, teachers, the government and private sectors and local people. The
study of local history, traditional architecture, carved wood Buddha images,
Dharma containers and artefacts in the Wat’s museum have all been crucial to
the success of the restorations. The project itself, funded from UNESCO
grants and public donations, was at one point temporarily suspended; work
recommenced in 2007, and is not yet completed.
The main vihara of Wat Pang Sanook in Lampang,
chosen by UNESCO for their Museum-to Museum project .
A distance view of Wat Pang Sanook, showing the
stupa and vihara.
An interior view of the temple’s museum, showing
a Buddha image and ancient artefacts from the collection.
Pictured are the guests of honour at the opening
ceremony, US Consul-general Michael Morrow, (centre), the mayor of Lampang
Dr Nimitre Jirasantikarn, (left), and Jonathan Sweet of Australia’s Deakin
The team and guests at the opening of the UNESCO
Two views of precious artefacts, one in the
vihara and one in the temple’s museum.