Giant head modeled after famous monk scares, offends Thai Buddhists

A viral photo of a giant sculpture of the head of a respected monk, known locally as “Luang Pu Thuat,” who lived in Thailand the 1500s, sparked a controversy online as some deem it is not appropriate.

Because many Thai Buddhists believe amulets, sculptures, and images of Luang Pu Thuat are sacred and hold great protective powers, Baan Pho temple, in Chachoengsao, is raising funds to build the biggest sculpture of the famous monk in the Eastern region. So what’s the problem? They haven’t finished building his body.

While the temple’s intention was to build an image of Luang Pu Thuat, who people believe performed “miracles” in his day, for locals to worship, some people said showing the great monk with his head cut off is offensive.

Photo: Taksanai To-inn

“I understand the work is not complete, but this is shocking. Why does he only have a head? People who respect Luang Pu Thuat are not comfortable seeing this. Please show some respect,” the top comment said.

“Thais only want to build the biggest, the longest, the widest things. They should have not displayed his head until they have completed the sculpture,” another comment said.

“This looks scary. There’s only a head!” a user pointed out.

The discussion emerged when the photo was shared on the popular travel page “Unseen Tour Thailand.”

Meanwhile, Wat Baan Pho released mock-up photos of the completed sculptures on Facebook and mentioned that it will take three years to complete the 17-meter-high sculpture.

Until then, locals will have to worship his head.

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