The Italian- Thai
“Lopburi Regional Archaeological Project” (Lo.R.A.P.)
This joint project began in 1988 with an agreement of scientific collaboration between the then Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East (IsMEO) and the Department of Fine Arts of Thailand (Thai FAD); presently the project is under the aegis of ISMEO – The International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies and the Thai FAD. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and ISMEO finance the field and laboratory research of the joint project. Four “Franklin Grants” granted by the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA) made it possible to study some specific categories of artefacts from LoRAP excavations.
Roberto Ciarla directed the project (1988-2020) in association with Surapol Natapintu (formerly Thai FAD and Silpakorn University) from 1988 to 2005; since 2006 Pakpadee Yukongdi (Thai FAD) is co-director for the Thai counterpart. Fiorella Rispoli is taking on the role of co-director for the Italian side from February 2021.
The fieldworks, the study and the restoration activities of the project have had the collaboration of the Somdet Phra Narai National Museum in Lopburi, as well as of the “Giuseppe Tucci” National Museum of Oriental Art, since 2016 part of the Museo delle Civiltà (Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and of Tourism).