Chocolate recall cools national artist's ire

Chocolate recall cools national artist's ire

National artist Chalermchai Kositpipat shows a chocolate box featuring an image of Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai on Thursday. (Photo by Chinpat Chaimon)
National artist Chalermchai Kositpipat shows a chocolate box featuring an image of Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai on Thursday. (Photo by Chinpat Chaimon)

CHIANG RAI: A chocolate importer and distributor has recalled products with packaging featuring a picture of Wat Rong Khun after national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat complained it was inappropriate.

Executives of Sino-Pacific Trading (Thailand) Co reached the decision after meeting on Friday with Mr Chalermchai, who designed and built the distinctive "White Temple", one of the province's top tourist attractions.

The executives from Bangkok apologised to Mr Chalermchai for using a picture of the temple on the packaging. In its 40 years of doing business, the company had tried to promote Thai culture by using beautiful images, said Sawet Sawetsomphop, a director of the company.

The company had bought the picture from a website and understood that the purchase thus respected the copyright of the picture, he said.

The company has already recalled about 8,000 boxes of the chocolate products imported from China and plans to destroy them.

Mr Chalermchai told the executives that they should respect arts and requested that the company donate a sum to charity. The company agreed to give 500,000 baht to a school for the blind in Mae Sai district.

The national artist said he had no problem with any use of his works for public interest but that he disapproved of any use for business gains.

Consumers were asking for the chocolate products because they misunderstood that they came from Wat Rong Khun, he said.

He said he forgave the company as it had addressed the issue and made the donation.

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