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30 May 2023

Heritage Matters: Laos’ heritage town needs preservation

“Beyond the risk to Luang Prabang’s built heritage is the threat to the natural heritage of the river and its environs, which are part of the town’s credentials as a UNESCO site that embraces the harmonious coexistence of nature and culture.”

The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage is delighted to share with you today the eleventh article from “Heritage Matters”, a monthly series aimed at identifying the challenges and opportunities of cultural heritage conservation published by The Siam Society in the Bangkok Post.

In this article, Tom Fawthrop gave an account of the construction of the hydroelectric dam 25 kilometers away from Luang Prabang and the negative consequences it will have upon the ancient town. UNESCO has also been pushing forward to authorities to stop the construction as there is a high possibility that the dam will be harmful to people, buildings, and both natural and cultural heritage. The disfigurement of the river caused by the dam will also change the river flow, bringing forth disasters such as landslides and floods. 

The full article can be read here.

Tom Fawthrop is an author, journalist and filmmaker. He directed ‘Killing the Mekong Dam by Dam’ and a documentary on the Salween River, ‘The Last Undammed River’.