11 July 2024

A foundation stone laying ceremony was held at the entrance of Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district today for the construction of a gallery-cum-museum in memory of the dramatic rescue operation to help the 12 Wild Boars boys and their coach from flooded cave. It will be dedicated to all the rescuers, especially Lt Commander Samarn Kunan, a former Navy SEAL member, who died during the rescue operation.

But instead of a stone being laid as normally practiced, the ceremony organizers drove a stick into the ground at the entrance of the cave to symbolize the start of the construction work.

The ceremony was chaired by Mr Tunya Netithammakul, director-general of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, and attended by national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the brainchild behind the construction project and several other people.

The gallery which will also be used as a museum will house a huge canvas painting, entitled “The Heroes”, which tells a story of the thrilling rescue operation.  A statue of the late Lt-Cmdr Samarn will also be installed in front of the cave.

The whole project will be financed with public donations and personal fund from Mr Chalermchai.