The Royal Private Film Archive: A Place to Preserve His Majesty the King’s Moving and Still Pictures (02/01/2008)
Construction of the Royal Private Film Archive is now underway as the place to preserve His Majesty the King’s personal moving and still pictures.

The archive is located in the Sanam Sua Pa compound, Dusit Palace, in Bangkok. The foundation-stone laying ceremony for project took place on December 20, with Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont presiding over the ceremony.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan, in her capacity as chairperson of the Preservation of the Royal Private Film Project, said that the archive is one of the projects in celebration of His Majesty the King’s 80th birthday anniversary in 2007. His Majesty has granted permission for the Government to build the film archive at Sanam Sua Pa, and he has also instructed the formation of a committee to handle his personal moving and still pictures. The committee is responsible for repairing and maintaining His Majesty’s private films with proper care in accordance with international standards.

The Office of the Permanent Secretary under the Prime Minister’s Office has entrusted the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, with designing the Royal Private Film Archive in the form of a five-story building, covering an area of 1,500 square meters. Emphasis is placed on high technology with safety standards in preserving His Majesty’s pictures.

Italian-Thai Development Company has been hired to construct the archive at a cost of 98.58 million baht. The construction period is six months, or 180 days. Currently, His Majesty the King’s personal moving and still pictures are kept at the Royal Library Hall within Chitralada Villa. After the construction of the Royal Private Film Archive is completed, the royal films will be moved from the Royal Library Hall to this new building. A total of 20 personnel are being trained by experts from the National Film Archive to help in the operations of this project, together with officials from the Bureau of the Royal Household.

His Majesty the King has been interested in taking photographs since his childhood. It was the Princess Mother’s amateur photography and cinematography that stimulated His Majesty the King to take up photography when he was eight years old. His Majesty has used photography as a means of recording royally initiated projects to help develop the country. Whenever he visits the people in different parts of the country, he always has his camera with him.

The Royal Private Film Archive is the first of its kind in Thai history. With proper preservation, historical royal pictures will be maintained in good condition for future study, research, and dissemination, as part of the national heritage.

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