Royal Cremation Ceremony Chariots Go On Show At The National Museum Bangkok
For years the National Museum Bangkok has rarely welcomed more than a few Thai visitors each day. Now it is the centre of attention among Thais and a sprinkling of foreigners eager to see the royal chariots, royal palanquins and other accessories that will be used in the royal procession for the cremation ceremony of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The government is now in the process of preparing the royal crematorium and related accessories for the grand royal cremation of the monarch who passed away on the 13th October, plunging the entire nation into mourning. The construction of the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang, adjacent to the Grand Palace, is expected to begin after the New Year and the whole process could take almost a year to complete.
Housed in the museum’s Royal Chariot Garage, the conveyances were built at the beginning of Rattanakosin era more than two centuries ago for the royal cremation ceremonies of Siam’s kings and queens and high-ranking royal family members of the Chakri Dynasty. “The Fine Arts Department has already inspected the conditions of the conveyances and other ornaments that are housed at the museum to prepare for the royal cremation. “We will work closely with scientists in the cleansing process while artisans of the Office of Traditional Arts will be in charge of restoring any damaged parts, applying new gold lacquering and inlaid glass to make the items glorious to honour the royal precedence. We don’t yet know the details of the royal procession but our task is to prepare everything for use,” says Ananda Chuchoti, the director general of the Fine Arts Department.