Bizarre Giant Statue Stirs Public Debate
The installation of a giant Khru Kai Kaeo statue at a hotel near the Ratchada-Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok has sparked controversy and demands for relocation from two Thai civic groups. The deity, represented by a gargoyle-like sculpture, has reportedly been causing fear among some people and eliciting concern from various sectors about the effects it has on the surrounding community.
Civic Groups Express Concerns
The Artists Council for the Promotion of Buddhism of Thailand is planning to submit a letter to The Bazaar Hotel Bangkok’s executives, voicing the concerns of locals who find the statue unsettling. The group argues that installing this peculiar statue for worship or blessings goes against Buddhist teachings.
In a separate effort, the Rassadorn Thai Haeng Chart group has submitted a letter to Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, requesting the statue’s relocation from its current position near the Lat Phrao MRT station in Huai Khwang district. They claim that the nearby residents are gripped with fear by the statue’s presence.
Public Reactions and Sacrifices
As the statue gained notoriety through viral photos, some people have flocked to it, seeking blessings and leaving behind various offerings such as flowers and wallets. Worryingly, there are reports of worshipers soliciting kittens or puppies online to use as sacrifices, leading to widespread criticism on social media.
Phonphakhun Setthayabodee, a spokesman for the Rassadorn Thai Haeng Chart group, expressed shock at the idea of people using pets as sacrifices to the half-human, half-mythical bird sculpture. He stated that killing animals to worship a deity goes against civilized culture, peace, and order.
Watchdog Thailand (WDT) has also issued a warning against using pets as sacrifices to Khru Kai Kaeo. Deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul joined the growing concerns, urging people to consider Thai culture and history while avoiding encroaching on other lives. She emphasized the importance of mindfulness and not falling prey to people with bad intentions.
Statue Origins and Misinterpretations
A relative of the sculptor responsible for the Khru Kai Kaeo statue has clarified that using animal sacrifices is a misinterpretation of the correct protocol. Although the statue bears striking similarities to gargoyles found on Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, it is believed to have originated in Cambodia.
Khru Kai Kaeo, also known as Khru Ba Kai Kaeo, is thought by some to have been the revered teacher of Jayavarman VII, a former king of the Khmer Empire. However, history scholar Tongthong Chandransu stated that he has never heard of this alleged teacher, casting doubt on the statue’s historical significance.