Thailand building the largest museum in Southeast Asia
Thailand is building what will be the largest museum in Southeast Asia, and it will be powered by solar energy, the president of the National Science Museum said last week.
“The official opening will be November, which will be presided over by His Majesty the King,” said National Science Museum President Rawin Raviwongse.
That would be a fitting inauguration as the new facility is named the Rama IX Museum to honor HM King Vajiralongkorn’s late father King Bhumibol Adulyadej. King Bhumibol was a strong supporter of science, technology, and medical education, and also used the scientific method while conducting his own research. He developed a range of innovations and received several patents for inventions, many of them designed to improve the lives of farmers and the rural poor.
Rawin said that he expects the Rama IX Museum to attract at least 1 million visitors annually. Construction of the 290,000-square foot facility located in Pathum Thani just north of Bangkok is 90 percent complete, he added.
The exhibits will be contained in three separate zones: “Our Life,” “Our Home,” and “Our King.” The first will educate visitors about human development, the second will focus on the environment, and the final zone will display the history, work, and philosophy of the late monarch.
The size of the museum means that it will need a large amount of energy, Rawin said, and so the designers planned on using solar power for sustainability and to conform to King Bhumibol’s philosophy on protecting the environment and careful stewardship of natural resources.
Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said he wanted to promote the museum as a new major tourist attraction.
The proposal to build the museum was made in 2007 as part of the 80th birthday celebrations for King Bhumibol, who passed away in 2016 after 70 years on the throne. He was the longest-reigning monarch in the world at that time.
One of his daughters Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn laid the foundation stone in 2016. The new museum is on the same grounds as the National Science Museum that was completed in 1995 in honor of Queen Sirikit.
Photo courtesy of http://www.nsm.or.th/en/about-science-museum-6/about-science-museum-en.html