Buddha-themed toilet withdrawn

A French sanitaryware manufacturer has apologised and decided to withdraw its Buddha-themed toilet covers after Buddhists complained about the products which appeared in the bathroom of a hotel in France.

SAS Olfa sales manager Aldo Gennaro said in a letter: "The creation of this product had of course no view to undermine the image of Buddha. So we decided to stop marketing this product and will as soon as possible withdraw the image on our website."

A copy of the letter was seen by the Bangkok Post.

The company was pressured by a group of Buddhists in Europe and Thailand through www.change.org/nobuddhaseat where around 8,000 individuals signed a petition on the website to protest against the disrespectful product design, reports said.

Nantarat Pienchob Herling, one of the protest leaders, said the online participants helped make SAS Olfa realise the importance of the image of Buddha.

She added that the Knowing Buddha Organisation - a group set up to protect Buddhism and Buddha - played an important role in resolving the problem by writing complaint letters to both the French company and the French embassy in Thailand.

Last month, Moulin de Broaille, a hotel in Bourgogne, France, outraged a group of Thai residents in Europe when it decorated its rooms under the "Little Buddha" theme which included toilet covers with an image of the Buddha's head on each of them.

The hotel is still using the toilet designs and a picture gallery of the room is still being displayed on the hotel's website.

Related search: SAS Olfa, change.org, buddha, sanitary ware, moulin de broaille, france, thailand, europe

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Writer: Nattawat Watanasuwan