Artisans Prepare for Thai King Bhumibol’s Elaborate Cremation

Nontarat Phaicharoen

Artisans carry on with work in front of the crematorium at the Royal Ground in Bangkok, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


The main structure of the crematorium is nearly finished, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


Artisans from the Thai Fine Arts Department work to finish the royal urn, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


The artisans lift the top of the royal urn to its proper place, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


Journalists take photos of the Phra Maha Phichai Racharot chariot, which will carry the late king’s urn and coffin, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


Volunteers inspect Garuda and Deva figures, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/Benar News)


An artist paints a figurine of a mythical creature that will decorate the crematorium, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


An artist paints a mythical Sdayu bird, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)


An artist focuses on details as he paints a Deva figure, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/Benar News)


Artists put finishing touches on figurines of mythical creatures that will be part of the crematorium’s decor, Sept. 8, 2017. (Nontarat Phaicharoen/BenarNews)

Nearly 70 million Thais will mourn their much-revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej for a last time during his cremation rites, which will go from Oct. 25 to 29 and end a year of national grieving for the monarch who died in October 2016. His proper cremation is set for Oct. 26.

Artisans from the government’s Fine Arts Department and volunteers have finished 90 percent of the work on the cremation ground and a 70-meter (230-foot) tall crematorium that reflects the stature of the seven-decade reign of the U.S.-born monarch.

The artisans have spent months crafting figures of mythical creatures, such as Deva and half-Deva, half-animal ones tied to the legendary Himmapan Forest, along with other statues and artworks to decorate the royal cremation ground.

The government expects 3 million visitors to observe the royal event. Following the ceremony, the cremation ground will be open to the public for the entire month of November.


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