‘Fallen Buddha’ image raises ire

img_press1_17_highBangkok Post, 27 Jun 2013 at 20.07

The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has expressed outrage over a disrespectful image of the Buddha placed on the ground in the middle of a market in Munich.

Tourists take a picture with ”Fallen Buddha” displayed in an art exhibition in Munich. (Photo from http://www.aspacecalledpublic.de)

Made in Dresden, the sculpture looks like a sitting Buddha image that has fallen over backward.

Passers-by often take inappropriate pictures with it and drunks sometimes climb on top of it, WFB said.

The organisation added that related authorities were doing nothing to stop the sacrilege.

Despite protests by the WFB, the Municipal Department of Arts and Culture of Munich insisted it would keep the statue on display.

Department director Hans-Georg Kuppers said the Buddha image would remain at the market until the end of September, Khom Chud Luek newspaper said on its website.

The Buddha image is part of an art exhibition which cost a lot of money to organise, he said.

Han Chong, the artist who made the sculpture, said that he only intended it to be a decoration.

The WFB’s complaint has been forwarded to the Thai Culture Ministry.

Prissana Pongthadsirikul, permanent secretary for culture, said the statue is considered very inappropriate.

No matter what the artist’s intention is, the object is an image of the Buddha and should be treated with respect, she told Thai Rath online.

The Culture Ministry has assigned related-agencies to investigate the incident and warned Munich to immediately remove the sculpture.

The ministry also sent a booklet to educate the city on how to properly use Buddhist symbols for commercial purposes.

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