he Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fine Arts Department host an enchanting “Night at the Museum: East meets West: A Journey through Time." for Diplomatic Corps in Thailand
On 10 March 2023, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs together with Mr. Sarun Charoensuwan, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Phnombootra Chadrajoti, Director General of the Fine Arts Department of Thailand led the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of International Organizations on a special tour of the National Museum Bangkok, to spend a "Night at the Museum" uncovering an exquisite collection of artifacts which have inspired the theme "East meets West: A Journey through Time."
In his welcoming remarks, the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs said that the Museum tour portion of the evening would introduce guests to only specially ‘selected’ pieces of the fine art and exhibitions on display, as a glimpse of what the National Museum Bangkok has to offer, to share uncommon insights into the rich narratives and history of the relations between Thailand and foreign countries. The evening was also an opportunity for the Thai government agencies to expand their networks with international partners towards the promotion and expansion of cultural cooperation. The Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs also expressed his appreciation for the cooperation and assistance rendered by foreign governments which allowed Thailand to receive back many of the valuable artifacts now on display at the Museum. These exchanges are considered a sign of mutual respect and welcome advancements in socio-cultural cooperation between Thailand and its foreign counterparts.
The Director General of the Fine Arts Department was deeply honoured to welcome the Diplomatic Corps to the National Museum Bangkok, as the oldest museum in Thailand that housed a number of very unique and valuable artifacts. He took this opportunity to invite the Ambassadors to visit other museums and archeological sites located in every province of Thailand. Finally, he hoped that the evening would promote a better understanding of Thai arts and culture, to foster further cooperation and deeper connections between Thailand and international partners in the future.
The Museum tour also allowed participants the opportunity to learn more about the multi-cultural aspects of Thai history which are rooted in the extensive contacts the country had with foreigners ("East meets West") through trade, the work of religious missionaries, as well as the exchange of art and technology, in different eras. As a result, Thailand became a culturally rich country with a unique identity, which was a foundation for the country's development in the later period.
On this occasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fine Arts Department also hosted a reception following the tour, to showcase a delectable variety of Thai dishes and dessert demonstrations from the Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (Chotivej). Young artists from the Moradokmai Group performed an upbeat collection of Jazz music with Thai and Western instruments, and cultural performances such as the Borarnkhadi Sri Siam Dance and the Music and Dance of International Friendship by the Office of Performing Arts of the Fine Arts Department entertained guests throughout the evening, followed by Thai ‘Ramwong’ where all participants were invited to join.
There were over 120 participants at the event, including high-ranking officials and officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fine Arts Department, Ambassadors, Charges d'Affaires a.i. and Consul-Generals and spouses from 27 countries as well as a representative from UNESCO in Thailand and the Association of Spouses of Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ASOMFA). H.E. Mr. Waldemar Dubaniowski, Ambassador of Poland to Thailand and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Thailand was also present.
Many participants joined the event dressed in national costume, traditional Thai or “East meets West” themed attire. The event was also joined by curators from the Office of National Museums as well as foreign and Thai volunteers from the "National Museum Volunteers" who guided the different tour groups.
The evening was part of the "Night @ the Museum" programme run by the National Museum Bangkok, an event open to all interested visitors. Apart from what was showcased this evening, the Museum hosts many more exhibitions and artifacts for visitors to explore. Members of the Diplomatic Corps were welcome to revisit the Museum as well to explore with the Fine Arts Department ways to promote further cooperation in the near future.