Thai people seem to consider themselves the policemen of Buddhism around the world. There is nothing wrong in this of course as long as it is done in a respectful manner. But some people think they should pay more attention to home than abroad as there is plenty wrong here in Thailand. Hardly a day goes by without a monk being featured on the front pages either drunk, meeting with women or showing off unusual wealth.
Having said that, I think everyone would agree that this “Fallen Buddha” image in Munich, Germany is going a bit too far. Although monks might not be respected as much as they used to be, Buddha images still have full respect. They should always be placed in a raised position. The head in Thai culture is sacred and so nothing should be placed above it. Having a “Fallen Buddha” at an art exhibit is wrong in some many ways.
The following open letter sent to the organizers sums up the Thais feelings about this:
I heard the shocking news that the arts exhibition displaying now which is under your authority is distorting the correct perspective of Buddhism we believe. With respect to you, I would like to take this opportunity to advise the proper ways to place the Buddha image. As we know very well, Buddha image must be placed in worship area where is considered as high position and not for decorating purpose. Thus, what you did by leaning the Buddha image on the ground must be reallocated. I would like to express my sincerity and oppose this unsuitability in order to prevent the possibly coming misunderstanding among us. I do firmly believe that, even though, the difference of lives, belief and love in anythings may cause us to act differently, we can share the harmonious space based on the respectful thought and methods.
This picture and more can be seen on the Thai news website MThai.