Unseen treasures at the National Gallery

your say April 26, 2014 00:00

Even though required to pay 6.5 times the ticket price of people without hairy arms, more farang visit the National Gallery in Bangkok than Thais. In a country of 65 million Thais, a comparative handful of farang seems to care more about Thai culture.

I was there recently. A Thai tour guide had told me there were fossils to be seen. There weren’t. Instead I peered at the dozens of large stone carvings of religious icons. Nearly all had been taken from faraway provinces. What gives Bangkok the right to take iconic sculptures from temples far away? Wouldn’t it be better to have them reside at the temples they were designed for, their “home” temples?
While we’re at it, how about Bangkok returning the Emerald Buddha to Chiang Rai, where it came from? That’ll be the day.
Nek Nestrebla
Chiang Rai