The Largest Gold Statue In The World Is A Statue Of What?
In 1955, workers in Thailand performing some routine work stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime. The workers had been hired to move a large plaster Buddha statue from an abandoned temple to a newer temple where the old plaster statue was to be restored. The statue proved heavier than they anticipated and, despite the addition of extra ropes and pulleys, the statue broke through the ropes and crashed to the temple floor. Sections of the plaster cracked and several pieces fell off the statue revealing the true source of its weight: gold.
Beneath the plaster shell, believed to have been added sometime prior to 1767 to protect the statue from looting via the invading Burmese armies, was an extremely sophisticated gold statue. Sitting 9.8 feet tall, the statue weighs 5.5 tons and, cultural and artistic value aside, is worth around 250 million just for the raw gold alone. The statue is actually composed of nine separate pieces with a golden key that unlocks the statue so that it may be broken apart and transported.
The priceless artifact is now housed in the Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok along with an exhibit detailing its discovery, restoration, and transportation to the new location.
Image by Kushal Das.