- Title: THAILAND STATUE OF OSAMA BIN LADEN DECORATES BUDDIST TEMPLE
- Date: 7th February 2002
- Summary: NAKHON PATHOM, THAILAND (FEBRUARY 7, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) WIDE SHOT OF TEMPLE PARTLY COVERED IN SCAFFOLDING SMV MAN RESTORING STONE WORK ON TEMPLE SCU MAN CARVING BIN LADEN STATUE SCU FACE OF OSAMA BIN LADEN STATUE VARIOUS, PEOPLE LOOKING UP AT TEMPLE/ STATUE VARIOUS, MAN WORKING ON BIN LADEN STATUE. / STATUE (3 SHOTS) SLV SCULPTOR TONGRUANG AMOT LOOKING UP AT THE STATUE SMV MAN WORKING ON STATUE SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) SCULPTOR, TONGRUANG AMOT, SAYING: "I built it as part of the temple because that means it will remain for a long time. If I had built it as a stand-alone statue, there is more of a chance it would be destroyed or damaged" VARIOUS , BIN LADEN STATUE /AMERICAN EAGLE/ WORLD TRADE CENTRE ON TEMPLE (3 SHOTS) SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) ABBOT BOONCHUAY ARTARO SAYING: "I never knew who he was before, no one around here knew about him. It was only when the sculpture was nearly finished and the newspapers and media reported this story, that I realised it was him (Osama Bin Laden) and I learnt about him because of the sculpture." VARIOUS OF MEN PAINTING INSIDE OF TEMPLE (3 SHOTS) WIDE /PAN OF EXTERIOR OF TEMPLE SCU DECORATION ON TEMPLE SMV OF BIN LADEN STATUE ON TEMPLE
- Embargoed: 22nd February 2002 12:00
- Location: NAKHON PATHOM, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Quirky,Politics,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAEAUYIA6K1R6PN3J3JWU8Y6788
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A maverick American artist has sculpted an Osama Bin Laden statue into the side of a Buddhist temple in Thailand -- much to the surprise of local monks.
When the monks of Nakhon Pathom Province, 40 kilometres west of Bangkok, asked a reputable sculptor to design a new temple for them, they had no idea what was in store.
Tongruang Amot began work with his team of men two months ago, carefully decorating the buddhist temple with sculpted monkeys and spirits.
Then he added a likeness of Osama Bin Laden.
This Bin Laden statue stands on the World Trade Centre above an American Eagle, and carrying an AK-47 with one finger raised in the air.
Tongruang Amot says the idea came to him after the September 11 attack on America. He said the eagle represents America searching for Bin Laden. But because the United States has not being able to find him, Bin Laden is depicted riding on top the bird.
Tongruang says it is normal for figures round the temple roof to represent gods and demons riding animals, so the Bin Laden and eagle figure seemed to fit in well.
"I built it as part of the temple because that means it will remain for a long time. If I had built it as a stand-alone statue, there is more of a chance it would be destroyed or damaged," he said.
It didn't take long for the monks to realise something was strange about their new temple. However they had no idea who the bearded man was -- and why he had been sculpted into their buddhist building.
"I never knew who he was before, no one around here knew about him. It was only when the sculpture was nearly finished and the newspapers and media reported this story, that I realised it was him (Osama Bin Laden) and I learnt about him because of the sculpture," said Boonchuay Artaro, who has been at the temple for more than forty years.
But the monks said they had no plans at present to decommission the statue.
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