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Bangkok’s demon statue banished amid rumours of animal sacrifice

BANGKOK – A giant demon statue, criticised as “un-Buddhist and scary”, was removed from the front of the Night Bazaar Hotel in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district on Dec 28.

The move came after the State Railway of Thailand ordered that the statue of Khru Kai Kaeo, a winged demon with fangs and crimson talons, be removed by Dec 30.

The hotel’s operator, Suan Lum Night Bazaar Ratchadaphisek, has also been ordered to pay a fine of 1.3 million baht ($50,000) for violating the Building Control Act.

The statue of Khru Kai Kaeo and its accompanying nine-tailed fox figure were removed to the rear of the hotel, out of public sight.

“The front of the Night Bazaar Hotel will be transformed into an activity area for guests,” said the hotel’s owner, Mr Pairoj Thungthong.

The giant demon statue made headlines when it was erected in August 2023, baffling motorists and passers-by on Ratchadaphisek Road.

It spawned online groups who began discussing their devotion to Khru Kai Kaeo, a mythical figure said to be the teacher of Jayavarman VII, a former king of the Khmer empire. Some worshippers also reportedly regarded him as a god of wealth.

However, a group calling itself the Council of Artists Supporting Thai Buddhism urged the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to remove the statue, claiming it encouraged demon worship. Khru Kai Kaeo worshippers were promoting un-Buddhist practices including the sacrifice of animals, the group claimed.

Venerable Phra Phayom Kalayano, the abbot of Wat Suan Kaew temple in Nonthaburi, advised devotees to be cautious about what they worshipped, lamenting that anything could be made into a statue to worship these days. – THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK