Bangkok international airport shifts `demons’November 10th, 2009 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS
Bangkok, Nov 10 (DPA) Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport is shifting 12 six-metre tall “demon” statues from arrivals to the check-in section of the terminal after running into a string of bad luck, media reports said Tuesday.
The first of the giants, each weighing a ton and collectively worth more than 30 million baht ($890,000), was moved Monday night after airport staff conducted a religious ceremony for the relocation, the Bangkok Post reported.
According to the newspaper, the statues were moved to “improve morale” at the airport after staff and duty-free shop owners complained that their positioning might have been accountable for the airport’s bad luck since opening in September 2006.
The airport was opened weeks after a military coup overthrew former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who hustled through the much-delayed $3 billion new airport project during his two-term premiership between 2001 and 2006.
The project was plagued by corruption scandals during construction and accusations of shoddy and rushed workmanship, resulting in cracks in the taxiways months after opening.
The problems culminated last November when anti-government protesters closed the airport for more than a week, costing Thailand billions of dollars in forfeited tourism and export revenues.
But Serirat Prasutanond, Airports of Thailand president, denied that shifting the statues, modelled after stone statues found at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, had anything to do with Suvarnabhumi’s bumpy ride to date.
“The move has nothing to do with politics or magic but is simply a matter of aesthetics,” Serirat told reporters Monday night. “Now passengers will have more time to appreciate the statues as they are checking in.”
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