6 June 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has opened a channel through which members of the public can lodge complaints, if they feel that the oversized “Kru Kai Kaew” sculpture, located in front of a hotel at the Ratchadapisek-Lat Phrao intersection, is causing inconvenience.

A group of people, who call themselves “National Thai Citizens”, filed a complaint with the governor yesterday (Thursday), asking him to order the winged half beast and half demon figure to be removed, claiming that it is located on public land.

The group also expressed concern that some worshippers may slaughter pets as sacrifices to Kru Kai Kaew. Followers who believe in the mythical creature have, however, denied that live animals are used in sacrificial rituals.

Governor Chadchart said today that he instructed the permanent secretary to check if the installation of the sculpture in front of the Bazaar Ratchada hotel violates any city edicts, but it was discovered that no law has been broken and the sculpture is located within the hotel’s compound, which is a private land.

He also said, however, that he has ordered the district chief officer to look into the safety aspect of the sculpture, which is about four metres tall.

The grotesque-looking sculpture has gone viral on social media and has generated mixed reactions from members of the public, with supporters claiming that it could generate revenues from worshippers who visit the site to seek its blessings, like the Erawan shrine. Buddhists, however, contend that worshipping a half beast-half demon figure is un-Buddhist and black magic.

Renowned historian Thepmontri Limpaphayom said that Kru Kai Kaew is actually a copy of the gargoyles which decorate the gutters of castles and ancient churches in Europe and has nothing to do with an ancient Khmer king, as claimed by its proponents.

He said he wonders why many Thai people are so easily duped into believing in superstitions, without first trying to discover the truth about the sculpture before worshipping it blindly.

He also suspects that there may be some who are promoting this sculpture for the purpose of selling Kru Kai Kaew images and replicas, which are already on sale at the site for anything from a few hundred baht to more than 100,000.