The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo is conducting joint research on conservation of Thai cultural heritage together with the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand. We executed a joint on-site investigation from September 14 to 16. Wat Sri Chum of the Sukhothai ruins has a great Buddha statue taller than 15m, the core of which was made from bricks and the surface finished with plaster. The entire surface of the Buddha statue had been covered with moss and algae, but because of the water repellent treatment applied 11 years ago, the Buddha statue was kept clean for awhile. However, since dirt due to algae, etc. has been somewhat noticeable recent years, some countermeasures have been investigated through observation of the Buddha statue, experiments by sample installation, and micrometeorological observation. In addition to these activities in Wat Sri Chum, we have observed the surrounding ruins, and specifically reviewed the advantages and disadvantages in cases where a chamber was installed in the remains.
The Great Buddha of Wat Sri Chum