Buriram village builds shrine for Golden Boy replica

Picture courtesy of thaipbsworld.com official website

The local municipality and residents are actively constructing a replica shrine and lifelike statue of the Golden Boy at the excavation site, using funds raised through faith and donations. A grand ceremony is planned for July 18 to honour the artefact.

Following the repatriation of the bronze sculptures of Lord Shiva, known as the Golden Boy, and the Kneeling Female from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA, on May 21, these artefacts are now displayed at the National Museum in Bangkok.

Buriram province officials from the Municipal Engineering Division in Lahan Sai district, along with community leaders and residents from two villages—Ban Yang Pong Sadao, Village 1, and Ban Nong Yang, Village 20—yesterday started the construction of a replica shrine to house the lifelike statue of the Golden Boy. This site, where the sculpture was originally excavated, has since been transformed into the village hall of Ban Yang Pong Sadao.

The foundation for the replica shrine has been laid with the installation of supporting pillars. The construction funds for the shrine and the Golden Boy statue have been sourced from the collective efforts of community leaders, residents, and their descendants. Additionally, a donation drive is being organised to bolster the fund. The foundation stone-laying ceremony is scheduled for May 30, followed by an elaborate consecration ceremony for the Golden Boy statue on July 18, 2024, to create a memorial for the villagers to venerate.

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The assistant village head of Village 20, Vilab Kaewklom, shared that the return of the Golden Boy to Thailand brought immense joy to the community leaders and residents. Many hoped to see or pay respects to the original statue at least once.

However, they understood that the Golden Boy was a priceless national treasure and did not expect it to be kept in their village, given the challenges of maintaining such a valuable artefact. They preferred it to be preserved in a secure location as a national asset.

Replica shrine

Consequently, the municipality collaborated with community leaders and residents to construct a replica shrine and statue as a substitute. The replica Golden Boy statue is being crafted by experts in Ayutthaya province for 50,000 baht. Once completed, it is expected that many villagers will come to pay their respects according to their beliefs.

“After the Golden Boy returned to Thailand, community leaders and residents were overjoyed. They wished to see or worship the original statue at least once. However, they understood that the Golden Boy is a national treasure of immeasurable value.”

Therefore, the municipality, together with community leaders and residents, decided to construct a replica shrine and statue of the Golden Boy. The replica statue is being made by experts in Ayutthaya province, costing 50,000 baht. It is believed that once completed, villagers will come to worship it according to their faith.

The enthusiasm for the Golden Boy remains high, with many visiting the National Museum to view the artefact. Efforts are being made to reclaim five more pieces to bring them back to Thailand, reported Khaosod.

Northern Thailand NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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