Tuesday, January 03, 2006

from justice to art

The site of the fomer Supreme Court was from 1900 to 1936 the the location of Hotel Grand de'l Europe. Had it not been demolished and made way for the court house, there would be another rival to Raffles Hotel today. The court has reloacated to an adjacent building behind, which in place of the classical dome, is topped by a futurstic looking 'flying saucer' (visible from the pix, on left).

For you may ask what has this court house to do with the monarch from the Kingdom of Siam, popularised in the Hollywood movie 'The King & I'. For behold, the sculpture in the pediment, an allegory of Justice, was done by the same Calvalieri Rudolfo Nolli, one of a group of Italian artists who went to Bangkok to build a new throne room for the King.

The sketch was done yesterday, a cloudy morning which is a Monday and a holiday, a day after the 2006 new year's day. A party had probably been held at the padang, as the stand that was used for the sketch was an empty beer crate.

The building will be renovated into an art gallery, in time for the new casinos in 2010. Then more beer will be flowing. And you will find this sketch hanging in one of its halls.