|The Mahamuni Buddha Temple is a temple and pilgrimage site in southwest of Mandalay, Myanmar. Recently a man who scraped gold from Mandalay’s ancient bronze Mahamuni Buddha image was arrested. Security cameras caught the man scraping out the gold from the back of the Mahamuni image.|
|With a short piece of steel pipe hidden up his sleeve, Tun Aung Kyaw mingled with other pilgrims who were applying gold leaves to the 6.5-ton image as offerings. |
Devotees have regularly applied gold leaves to the image over centuries. Except for the face, the image is covered with layers of gold believed to be about 15 centimeters (6 inches) thick. The trustees of the pagoda said this is the first time gold has ever been removed from the image.
Kyaw is being charged with theft and defaming Buddhism, a serious offense in Myanmar.