LOPBURI — Memorials to two leaders of the revolution that toppled absolute monarchy 87 years ago are due to be removed from public view, an heir of one of the two men said Saturday.
After gracing visitors at an artillery base in Lopburi province for decades, the statues of Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena and Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram would be sent to a museum instead, according to a son of Phahol Pholphayuhasena.
Maj. Puttinart Paholpolpayuhasena said the base commander phoned him on Friday evening and informed him that a new statue depicting the late King Bhumibol would be installed in place of his father’s memorial.
“He said commoner statues have to make way for the new statue,” Puttinart said.
The military installation, which bears the name of Phahol Pholphayuhasena, will also be renamed to King Bhumibol Base per an instruction from the current monarch, Puttinart quoted the commander as saying.
Both Phahol Pholphayuhasena and Pibulsongkram played a crucial role in the June 24, 1932, coup that ended the king’s direct rule and paved the way for a democratic rule.
But relics associated with the revolt have disappeared in recent years. A plaque celebrating the revolution was replaced in 2017 with one praising the monarchy. In December 2018, a monument marking the defeat of an ultraroyalist counter-revolution was dismantled overnight. Public commemoration of the 1932 coup was also discouraged.
Speaking in an interview, Puttinart said the base commander assured him that his father’s memorial would not meet a similar fate; the two statues would be enshrined inside a military museum and not destroyed.
“He said the artillery corps regard the two men as their fathers,” Puttinart said. “They would treat the statues with utmost respect.”