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The symposium was initiated in response to the decision of the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of the Historic City of Ayutthaya World Heritage Site.

The Committee recommended that Thailand holds “an international symposium, in collaboration with UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies, to debate on the conservation philosophy of brick-associated sites, together with academics and international conservation practitioners”.

The symposium will provide a platform for exchanging knowledge on conservation of brick monuments in the context of World Heritage Sites, in line with international standards and World Heritage principles elated to authenticity and integrity. It will be attended by experts from various international institutes related to cultural heritage conservation, for instance, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Japan), Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (Germany), World Monuments Fund (USA), ICOMOS, ICCROM, and national agencies responsible for the conservation of brick-associated World Heritage Sites in South-East Asia.

The invited speakers will address a range of challenges in conservation, including the appropriate application of scientific conservation principles, traditional building techniques and materials in undertaking conservation of ancient sites, as well as practical ways to include local communities for sustainable heritage protection.

The symposium will focus on thematic sessions, as follows:

Keynote Session: International standards on the conservation of World Heritage Sites

Session 1: Evolving principles and practices in the conservation of brick monuments for World Heritage Sites

Session 2: Brick monument conservation in Historic City of Ayutthaya World Heritage Site: challenges and responses

Session 3: Revival of traditional craftsmanship in brick and lime conservation for World Heritage Sites

Session 4: Towards an updated conservation philosophy for brick monuments at Historic City of Ayutthaya World Heritage Site

The symposium also includes a one-day field visit to monuments in the Historic City of Ayutthaya, which will be followed by a half-day Session 4, which is a final panel discussion among participants. The discussion aims to gather observations and recommendations that will result in the definition of authenticity and integrity in the context of Historic City of Ayutthaya World Heritage Site, the proposed update of conservation principles and practices in line with international standards and the recommendations for institutional and technical capacity building in heritage protection for Thailand.

The symposium will provide useful recommendations to the Fine Arts Department of Thailand on how to improve the institutional and technical capacity for the better conservation of Thailand’s prime World Heritage Site.