Thai Cultural Heritage in Vienna
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Commemorative stamp presentation 2012-12-05

Thailand Collections

at the

Austrian Museum of Ethnology

The Austrian Museum of Ethnology in Vienna shelters a collection of more than 1500 cultural artifacts from Thailand. Many items of this collection were brought from Siam to Vienna more than 100 years ago. This research project aims to review this collection and makes it open to the public for the first time (online and as printed catalog).

This research project will use the additional value of the Internet as media to develop an open stage for research. The project is drafted interactive, to enable direct information- and research exchange with academic experts from culture-institutes and organizations in Thailand. By providing our collections for research we intend to initiate academic cooperation with such institutions in Thailand.

Moreover, in using the opportunities of the new media, we want to leave the limitations of classical museums behind. With this project we intend to transcend our own tradition of museums as institutions with the immobility of walled structures, where only museum officers mediate knowledge to the public. Therefore we are inviting all interested Thais (from whose environment the objects originate) to contribute their knowledge about the artifacts from personal usage or personal reminiscence of such objects in order to participate in the project and to revive the artifacts of their cultural heritage. They can make these lifeless objects talk and narrate tales and history and thus make their genuine cultural context visible.

The items of the collections will be worked up bit by bit and placed on this website subsequently. The project was drafted in 2010. However, its full implementation is placed on hold currently, since the project has no financing.

Museum of Ethnology
Neue Hofburg
1010 Vienna, Austria