Innovation Acceptance Unit

Report: Heritage Management Thailand - Fraunhofer IMW Researchers Publish Report as Part of the URGENT 2.0 Project

News | Leipzig /

For more than 10 years, the Fraunhofer IMW has been conducting research on socio-economic issues in the field of cultural heritage. Recently, the institute expanded its research activities to Southeast Asia. As part of the URGENT 2.0 project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) alongside the involvment of Fraunhofer IMW as well as Fraunhofer IEE and the School of Public Policy at Chiang Mai University, the project team of the Innovation Acceptance Unit of Fraunhofer IMW published a report on cultural heritage management in Thailand.

Projects like URGENT aim at the transfer of knowledge and technology for the preservation and use of cultural heritage with the goal of sustainable development. Such work requires an understanding of the historical and cultural conditions of a place. The report sets the foundation for this by highlighting the importance of cultural heritage and its approaches to management in Thailand.

Compared to many other countries, Thailand has a long history of managing and preserving its cultural heritage. From the middle of the 19th century the state took over the responsibility for the protection of its cultural heritage. Despite the dominance of the national government authorities in the management of cultural heritage, the participation of social actors has increased in recent decades. One of the most established non-governmental organizations is the Siamese Society, which is critical of several existing approaches to existing cultural heritage management in Thailand. This includes the lack of a political framework to steer activities and an overly centralized approach that ignores local diversity. However, Thailand also offers excellent examples of cultural heritage management, ranging from the successful involvement of the local community, as in the case of the city of Lopburi, to the preservation of intangible heritage, as in the case of the shadow puppet show at Wat Khanon.

The various dimensions of cultural heritage management are explained in more detail in the English-language report. The authors are Dr. Christine Richter, Jakob Busse von Colbe, Henrik Beermann and Urban Kaiser.