Taxpayers and official glorification

11 02 2020

We were struck by yet another big dip into taxpayer’s pockets for even more glorification of dead King Bhumibol.  The military-backed regime has decided to shovel 864 million baht (US$27 million) to “build a museum dedicated to the royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej … in Pathum Thani’s Klong 5…” to be run by the Fine Arts Department.

The new 7,200m² “royal museum … will resemble the royal crematorium…” and will “be located on a 32ha plot of land, it will also house the Supreme Artist Hall, the King Rama IX Archive, and the national museum warehouse of the department…”.

It is planned to “consist of five major zones to exhibit every angle of the royal cremation” and “will display art pieces and materials used to construct and decorate the Royal Crematorium, including the royal urn, royal coffin, and 132 sculptures used to decorate the royal crematorium.” It is expected to open in 2022.

864 million baht is chicken feed in the billions of baht used for all kinds of taxpayer-funded glorification. Yet it adds to other museums that maintain the elements of royal cultural hegemony: the supposedly largest museum in Southeast Asia, the Rama 9 Museum, the National Museum of Royal Barges, and the Royal Elephant National Museum, to name just a couple.

Every year, billions of baht flow into this kind of glorification of royals. Can anyone come up with the real figure on how much of the people’s money supports this feudal family? How much is wasted on palace propaganda?



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