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All That Glitters . . .

November 10, 1996

Carl Duncan's article about Bangkok ("Bangkok by Boat," Oct. 20) had a picture incorrectly captioned, "bronze statue standing watch in the Grand Palace in Bangkok."

When I visited Bangkok with our family several years ago, we were told that all of the statues were covered with real gold leaf.

Workers constantly replaced the gold foil, which gradually washed off the statues in the rain. The gold was reclaimed from special traps in the palace sewers, melted down and made into fresh foil.

GERRI KIRSCHNER

Van Nuys

Editor's note: A spokeswoman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand said that the statue itself is made of bronze but that it is, indeed, covered with gold, which is applied by visitors who rub pieces of gold foil on the surface. She added, however, that gold is not recovered from palace sewers.

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