Drunk British tourist allegedly destroys prized albino buffalo sculpture in Bangkok

A drunk, British tourist allegedly destroyed a giant albino buffalo sculpture exhibited in the Sam Yan area of Bangkok at the weekend.

At 2am on Saturday, a group of drunk British and German tourists passed by the Bangkok Art Biennale 2022 art exhibition outside Samyan Mitrtown in Bangkok.

This year, the concept of the exhibition is “CHAOS: CALM” and features more than 200 pieces of work from 73 Thai artists and foreign artists of 31 nationalities.

One impressive piece exhibited in the outdoor display was “Kwai: Calm” (Buffalo: Calm) by Thai artist Maitree Siriboon.

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A drunk British tourist, 34 year old Joshua Antoni Burgoyne, attempted to mount the four-metre-tall buffalo sculpture. On his second attempt, the artwork collapsed into pieces. The incident was captured by CCTV cameras.

Police took the drunken Englishman and his friends to the police station, where he allegedly showed no remorse for destroying the artwork and refused to pay for the damages.

The destroyed albino buffalo remains on display, but rather now falls under the “chaos” element of this year’s theme, rather than “calm” as intended. The buffalo lies on its side, and its passenger is in tatters on the ground.

Professor Apinan Poshyanada, who was involved in organising the exhibition, posted a message on Facebook on Saturday…

“It is saddening to say that the Kwai Calm artwork by Maitree Siriboon at Samyan Midtown, that is admired by tourists and art lovers alike, has been destroyed by a group of English and German tourists at 2am.”

Albino water buffaloes are rare and are considered very auspicious animals in Thailand.

In March, an albino water buffalo named Duangphet sold for a whopping 2.5 million baht at the 10th Uthai Thani Buffalo Festival.

The new owners, Chaiyong and Amarin, said they bought the albino buffalo for breeding to help expand the numbers of this special animal.

Duangphet’s previous owners had received even higher offers for the genetically-recessive water buffalo but chose Chaiyong and Amarin because of their good intentions.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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