The Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Thailand joins hands with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, the Embassies of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal as well as prominent academics, archaeologists, and architects to record history and shared cultural heritage in a VDO series called “EU Urban Heritage”.
The series highlights the long-standing relationship between Thailand and Europe as well as the importance of cultural heritage for sustainable urban development in the modern world.
“EU Urban Heritage” comprises four videos that narrate the history of selected cultural heritage sites including historic buildings in Thailand that EU member states have preserved in Bangkok, such as embassies and ambassadors’ residences. Audiences can also take a virtual tour around other architectural marvels that embrace artistic elements from different cultures, illustrating the openness and diversity that has long existed in Thai society.
The series aims to raise public awareness of the underlying potential of cultural heritage for sustainable urban development and to encourage everyone to contribute to its preservation. H.E. Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of the European Union in Thailand said: “I believe heritage is what the present is built on. Europe and Thailand have deeply intertwined history and it all comes through in the heritage of Bangkok. It shows the cosmopolitan nature of Siam then and Thailand now. It is important to remember how Europe has always been present here, as a friend, as a partner. Heritage is part of our partnership.
It is important that we continue to build and modernise on this foundation.” H.E. Mrs. Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Director-General of the Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, said: “The relations between Thailand and Europe can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period. It shows our confidence in receiving cultures and relations without losing the sense of ourselves. Architects from Europe influenced many beautiful western-style buildings [in Thailand].
This shows Thailand’s open-mindedness – that we welcome any ideas that we find pleasing. This spirit of open-mindedness has remained intact in Bangkok, which presents a unique mixture of western and Thai styles and makes this place a beautiful place.” The “EU Urban Heritage” series presents stories and memories of the European-Thai cultural legacy, focusing on four themes: Heritage Embassies, Heritage Residences, Religious Heritage and Renovated European Architecture.
The series covers Bangkok’s evolution since the 19th century, starting with the construction of European Embassies and Consulates on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bang Rak district, which was then considered the “Gateway to Bangkok”. Police Lt-Colonel Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, spokesperson of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said: “Bangkok is a new capital that has been established for a few hundred years. It is a world-class city with diverse cultures – where different religions and cultures meet and co-exist.
Besides Wat Ratchaborphit temple, where we can see a mixture of Thai and western cultures, we also have Luang Kocha Itsahak Mosque and the Holy Rosary Church where we can see a harmony of different cultures.” The “EU Urban Heritage” video series will be released on 10 June on the Facebook page of the Delegation of the European Union in Thailand: https://www.facebook.com/EUinThailand