MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release

June 2, 2005

CONTACT:  Niphasone Souphom, President
Lao Heritage Foundation
(202) 607-7466
Email: president@laoheritagefoundation.org

INVITATION TO ATTEND/COVER
Lao Heritage Foundation auction to benefit preservation of traditional Lao culture Thursday, June 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Strathmore Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD

Lao Heritage Foundation To Launch with Auction of Works by Prince Nithakhong Somsanith

Washington, DC –The Lao Heritage Foundation (LHF) is pleased to announce a benefit auction of works by the Lao master artist Prince Nithakhong Somsanith of Luang Prabang in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 16.

The event will feature Prince Nithakhong Somsanith, one of the last gold thread embroiderers in the ancient tradition of the court of Luang Prabang, Laos—chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site deserving of unique significance and worthy of special preservation efforts.

The Lao Heritage Foundation (www.laoheritagefoundation.org) was incorporated in 2004 with the mission of preserving, promoting, and advancing all aspects of Lao culture among Lao expatriates and their descendants worldwide. To this end, LHF raises public and private funds for participating institutions, art galleries, and schools teaching the Lao language and performing arts.

As the significance of traditional gold thread embroidery is increasingly forgotten, the Lao Heritage Foundation felt an urgent need to raise awareness of this extraordinary art as its first major undertaking. Prince Nithakhong Somsanith (www.princesomsanith.com) is an internationally known embroidery artist. In the last 10 years, he has exhibited his works in Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Prince Somsanith traces his childhood memory back to his secret garden of temple ceilings with beautiful designs and elaborate inscriptions. There he finds inspiration for his magnificent embroideries, on religious fans for Buddhist monks and on royal garments that will never be worn by Lao royalty because the Communists abolished the royal court in 1975.

On June 16, Prince Nithakhong Somsanith will exhibit his internationally prized gold thread embroidery collection as well as his paintings—some of which will be available for auction to raise funds for the LHF. An online auction of his works will begin June 9 and continue through June 19.

For more information about the foundation’s activities and online auction, please visit our website www.laoheritagefoundation.org

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