The second phase of the restoration of Wat Chaiwatthanaram in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Ayutthaya province, has been launched to develop this temple as a world-class education destination, teaching visitors about the rich cultural heritage of Thailand.
On March 12, 2020, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Culture Dr. Yupha Taweewattanakitborvon, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Michael DeSombre, Governor of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province Panu Yaemsri, and Deputy Director-General of the Fine Arts Department Aroonsak Kingmanee joined the inauguration ceremony of the second phase of the restoration of Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
The United States Embassy in Thailand has supported the ongoing work to restore the temple since 2012 through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), under the auspices of the US Department of State. To date, AFCP has provided over US$1.1 million in grant funding for the restoration.
While touring the site, Ambassador DeSombre said that the United States would continue to support cultural heritage preservation in Thailand.
The restoration of Wat Chaiwatthanaram began after massive floods damaged the temple site and endangered its structures in 2011. In the following year, funding through the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation was secured, and restoration work began. Thus far, the project has preserved the deteriorating architecture and fortified structures around the temple to prevent any further damage.
Experts have been invited to disseminate knowledge on the restoration and preservation of this historical site and training has been arranged for personnel from the Fine Arts Department.
Built in 1630 by King Prasatthong, Wat Chaiwatthanaram was one of the grandest monuments of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. This Khmer-style temple has become one of the most visited historical sites of Ayutthaya.