A buyer of one of the controversial Ultraman Buddha paintings has decided to auction it off for charity as a hardline Buddhist group seeks legal action against the student who painted it.

Pakorn Porncheewarakun, the buyer, said in Phetchabun province on Wednesday that he bought the painting for 4,500 baht and would not bow to attempts to recall it for destruction.

He said that he planned to auction off the painting and give the proceeds to a hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima, where the student lived, so that her Buddha-related work would benefit society in accordance with her inspiration for the painting portraying Buddha as a superhero.

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He said he would also credit the student for rhe proceeds to be donated.

Mr Pakorn said he and his friend bought four Ultraman Buddha paintings by the student. On Wednesdayafternoon a bidder offered 500,000 baht for one of the paintings.

In Bangkok a group of Buddhists asked the Crime Suppression Division on Wednesday to prosecute the student and other people who supported her paintings depicting Buddha as the Japanese superhero Ultraman.

Leading the group, Charoon Wannakasikanont said that Suaparat Chaijanreed, the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University student, and three other people who supported her idea had insulted Buddhism and violated the constitution and the criminal law requiring the protection of Buddhism and other religions.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Tewan Liptapallop on Wednesday said that the student did not have any ill intention, might have simply exercised her creative urge and already apologised; therefore, concerned parties should forgive her.

Aside from the student, the group targeted national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, Papichaya na Nakhonphanom, director of the Terminal 21 shopping centre where the paintings were exhibited, lawyer Decha Kitiwithayanant and the student’s advisor.

He also called for the destruction of all such paintings.

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