SONGKHLA — Local officials in Songkhla province are launching an urgent effort to preserve an iconic mermaid statue amid fears that its foundation is crumbling.
The statue, which is perched on a rock on Samila Beach, is damaged around the mermaid’s tail, torso, and foundation, said Somsak Tantiseni, Songkhla City Municipal Office.
"The damage is likely going to spread further if it’s not urgently repaired," Mr. Somsak said. "I will ask the city council to find measures to deal with this."
Mr. Somsak blamed the erosion on weather and tourists who climb on the statue to take photos.
Mermaids first entered Thai folklore in the epic poem Phra Abhai Manee, penned by renowned Thai poet Sunthorn Phu in 1821, in which a mermaid rescues the protagonist from a giant.
A local tale in Songkhla also claims that a fisherman once saw a mermaid combing her hair on Samila Beach. The bronze statue of the mermaid was erected to commemorate the story in 1966.
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