A controversial giant demon statue was taken down last week after months of criticism over alleged promotion of devil worship, pet sacrifices, and just being outright terrifying to some.
The infamous Kru Kai Kaeo statue was removed from the front of Bangkok’s The Bazaar Hotel in Huai Khwang district. The order came from the State Railway of Thailand who had asked the hotel for its removal by Saturday.
The hotel’s operator, Suan Lum Night Bazaar Ratchadaphisek, was ordered to pay a hefty fine of B1.3 million for violating the Building Control Act following claims that the use of the land violated a lease agreement with the State Railway of Thailand.
The spot where the four-meter statue sat alongside its nine-tailed fox figure will be renovated into an activity area for guests, according to hotel owner Pairoj Thungthong. Other statues were also removed from the area.
The statue, known for its menacing glare and winged demon features, attracted so much attention from the public since it was erected in the beginning of August. It was deemed frightening by some, including a group called the “Council of Artists Promoting Buddhism” who had lobbied to have it removed, claiming it encourages people to worship demons and offer pets as sacrificial animals. There have been no reports indicating that either had happened at the site.
Kru Kai Kaeo, according to some believers, was said to be a teacher of former Khmer empire ruler Jayavarman VII. While some say he is a god of wealth, critics and scholars say they have never heard of him.
Another group called the National Thai People Council petitioned Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt to remove the statue as it posed “a threat to Thai culture and beliefs.”