David Beckham’s visit to Thailand with his family has highlighted a little known gold leaf covered statue of the football star that has been placed at the altar of a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand
Following on from the news that David Beckham will soon be visiting Phuket and Koh Samui with his wife and children, it’s also come to light that Beckham has been immortalised at the altar of one of Bangkok’s revered Buddhist temples. The gold leaf covered statue of Beckham sporting his sometimes full head of hair has been installed at Wat Pariwas temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown since 2000 (according to this webpage) but has now received the full attention of the media with Beckham’s visit to Thailand.
UPDATE: I’ve now been to the David Beckham temple and have a whole bunch of photos and video plus directions on how to get there – follow the link for more.
This original article from 2000 on about the statue’s unveiling, also on BBC News covers the reasons for the statue’s addition to the temple – the abbot of the wat allowed it because he thinks football is a new kind of religion. Beckham’s pose in the statue mimics the garuda, or guardian demons, that can be seen at Thailand’s most sacred religious site, the Grand Palace. Every source I’ve checked is very thin on details about exactly where in Chinatown Wat Pariwas is located, including my two Bangkok maps.
The stories of a statue of David Beckham being worshipped in Japan on Awajishima Island (as claimed by his wife Victoria) turn out to be apocryophal – no-one has actually seen or at least produced a photo of the Japanese Beckham statue, although there was a chocolate David Beckham statue in Tokyo for the World Cup in 2002…