Getting a Buddha out of Thailand

May 17th, 2004, 05:33 AM
  #21  
Airlawgirl
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Oh, okay, Citiboy, that makes me feel better, (how many Buddhas do you have now?) I think you've posted the solution to your problem. As to that street where all the religious Buddhas are found, I too, have been on that street, and it is true that those signs are there, but that is a special street where Buddhas and other religious artifacts sell almost exclusively to temples, or to Thais wishing to create an altar area in their homes. As to Buddhas sold elsewhere, the Thais understand better than anyone that business is business, and people who come to Thailand want to purchase Buddhas to take back with them, so they will be sold, and no one is going to confiscate them if you have them discreetly packed. As with the case of many laws on the books, this law appears not to be enforced, except in certain circumstances, partic. where tourists are concerned.
 
May 17th, 2004, 06:17 AM
  #22  
 
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Airlaw, you seem to have missed the point of the law quoted by James A. Of course people can take any of the "souvenir"-type items or reproduction Buddha images out of the country. It is the export of "antiques, objects of art, religious articles" that is forbidden. (The example of the street in Bangkok that sells religious articles is an excellent example of what is forbidden for export under the law.) The translation of the law is no doubt awkward, which leads to some misunderstandings (such as the idea that no Buddha image can be exported).

Nonetheless, my experience is that the application of the law is pretty straightforward and reasonably enforced.
Kathie is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 08:39 AM
  #23  
 
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Kathie is correct. Buddha images can be taken out of Thailand as long as you have the proper paperwork. The paperwork is to ensure that you are not taking a cultural artifact, i.e. 600-year-old Buddha stolen from a temple, out of the country.

Hiding Buddhas in your luggage is very dangerous, and they can be confiscated.
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May 17th, 2004, 10:00 AM
  #24  
Airlawgirl
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So my "reproduction Buddha(s)" is not an "object of art?" I certainly consider it to be!
 
May 17th, 2004, 10:04 AM
  #25  
Airlawgirl
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And how, pray, does one define "objects of art'? Are you saying that my "reproduction Buddha(s)" is not an "object of art?" I certainly consider it to be, and I'm sure most everyone who has purchased one feels the same way! I maintain, this law is subject to conflicting interpretation, which is most likely why it is not strictly enforced. Antiques being the exception-most countries are understandably very strict about how they leave the country, since many countries have had their national treasures plundered in the past by colonizers.
 
May 17th, 2004, 10:16 AM
  #26  
 
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You may consider the reproduction images you purchased to be anything you wish, but they do not qualify as objects of art under any country's statutes protecting their cultural heritage. Reproductions, no matter how lovely or well-done, do not qualify as art objects.
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May 17th, 2004, 10:49 AM
  #27  
Airlawgirl
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I'm sorry, but that doesn't clarify things for me at all. "Reproductions- all Buddha figures are reproductions, are they not? And does the Thai statute in question specifically define what an "object of art" is, or more importantly is not?
 
May 17th, 2004, 12:46 PM
  #28  
 
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Airlaw, no not all Buddha figures are reproductions. There are many that are original works of art. If you aren't familiar with the term "reproduction" as it applies to art, you might want to read more about it. In general, it refers to mass-produced items and/or copies of original works of art.
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May 17th, 2004, 01:58 PM
  #29  
Airlawgirl
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That last post didn't answer my question as to whether the Thai statute in question defines "objects of art" broadly or narrowly-which really determines whether your definition of objects of art has meaning in this context, or whether it is a term of more general applicability.
 
May 17th, 2004, 08:54 PM
  #30  
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From my understanding now,it is narrowly construed which gives us a way around the statute.
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May 17th, 2004, 08:59 PM
  #31  
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There are now 4 Buddhas in the house-2 jade and 2 metal.I think that there is little difficuly if the Buddha is 70 years old or less.But as I mentioned earlier, I have decided to have a Thai Buddhist hand carry the Buddha.
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