Vietnam Time

8/2/2018 10:05:31 PM

Thailand to mark boy football team's dramatic cave rescue with museum

Thai construction workers on Thursday (August 2) began building a museum to commemorate the dramatic cave rescue of a boys' football team in the northern province of Chiang Rai and the death of one of the divers.

The portrait of Samarn Kunan (right), a former Thai navy SEAL who died during a recuse mission to save 12 football boys and their coach at Tham Luang cave complex, is painted on a giant mural in Chiang Rai, Thailand, Jul 14, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing on June 23 while exploring the cave complex and were rescued more than two weeks later during a perilous three-day mission by foreign and Thai divers that gripped audiences around the world.

Work on the museum began after a traditional Buddhist ceremony on Wednesday at the Tham Luang cave, in which authorities asked for the blessing of local spirits.

The museum, which is expected to take about five months and 10 million baht (USD 300,300) to build, is being funded by a Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, a Chiang Rai native.

"This place will be very beneficial for our country, as it will commemorate the multinational cooperation and the hero who sacrificed his life. Tourists from around the world will visit this place," Chalermchai said.

Thai diver Saman Kunan died after he lost consciousness during a mission to place oxygen tanks deep inside the cave.

A four-metre statue of Saman, currently being sculpted, will be placed in front of the museum.

The museum will also house a 13-metre-long painting, which features rescuers, including the British divers who first found the boys.

Eleven of the boys have been spending time as Buddhist novices to honour Samarn. On Saturday, they will leave the temple to return to normal life./.

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