Exporting Buddha Statues from Thailand

Statues from Thailand of Lord Buddha

Thai Buddha Statues

As a Thai customs formality, Buddha sculptures are restricted to be exported from Thailand. The original law was established to protect Thailand’s ancient religious artifacts and antique Buddha images from being stolen and sold illegally. Until recently, this law was not actively enforced on newly made Buddha statues. Vendors could easily ship Thai Buddhas throughout the world.

  • “In November 2010, Lotus Sculpture experienced one of our containers filled with Buddha sculptures being confiscated en route to the USA by Thai customs officials.”

In November 2010, Lotus Sculpture experienced one of our containers filled with Buddha sculptures being confiscated en route to the USA by Thai customs officials. It was a complete loss with no way to get the confiscated sculptures back.    The USA’s Patriot Act has paid for a large X-Ray machines to examine every container shipped from Bangkok to the US. When US or Thai officials scan a container and see outlines of Buddha statues they now confiscate the contents of the container. This may lead to an end of importing Thai Buddhist images altogether, which would be a tragedy to all involved; Buddhists who worship Lord Buddha; business who sell Buddha statues; and especially for the artists who rely on selling Buddhist art to earn a living.

How to Clean your South Indian Hindu Bronze Statue

“Because of the durability of the metal not much is needed to maintain a bronze sculpture.”   

Bronze is an extremely durable metal made from a combination of 5 metals; copper, iron, tin, with minute additions of silver and gold.  This combination is called Panchaloha bronze and is the basis for making the sacred Hindu temple statues of India and the world.  Copper is the most prevalent metal in the alloy.  Copper also gives the metal a softer composition that allows the bronze artisans to carve the details that are prevalent in each piece.    All the South Indian bronze statues Lotus Sculpture carries are Panchaloham and thus suited for any home altar or community temple.

Before
Indian Bronze Statue with Verde Gris, green patina
Mahasaraswati South Indian Bronze Statue with verde gris patina
After
Indian Bronze Statues cleaned of Verde Gris with coconut oil
MahasaraswatiSouth Indian Bronze Statue cleaned with coconut oil.

Because of the durability of the metal not much is needed to maintain a bronze sculpture.  Many of our customers purchase a bronze statue and perform daily puja and abhisheka consisting of bathing the Hindu deity in ghee, milk, coconut milk or other liquids.  In this case nothing is needed to keep the statue clean as it will be bathed daily.  If the sculpture is used for “darshan” or simply viewing the sculpture it is best to dust the statue as needed so no dirt collects in the details of the sculpture. For both polished golden bronzes and antique patina bronze statues if you would like the sculpture to shine use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or other natural oil to wipe down the piece as needed.

Many of our bronze Hindu statues have been placed in outdoor temples.  Bronze’s durability makes it perfect for cold winters and hot summers of any climate.  We suggest you bathe the sculpture every couple of months so that dirt does not collect on the sculpture and then use a cotton cloth with some natural oil to give the statue a shine.  Both indoors and outdoors a bronze statue can be left alone which, overtime, will give the bronze an antique patina.

On some bronze statues you can see small hints of lime green, verde-gris patina.  Some people prize this color for its age others want to remove it.  If you would like to remove the verde-gris use a tooth brush with some coconut oil or other natural oil and lightly go over the verde-gris.  This should remove the unwanted patina from the sculpture.

“If you would like the piece to shine use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or other natural oil to wipe down the bronze statue.”

If you have any questions concerning your bronze statue please email us at info@lotussculpture.com or call us at 1(760) 994-4455.