The United Kingdom embassy in Bangkok is being sold for record £420m, the premises will have a new owner, a joint-venture consortium of Hongkong Land. The Foreign Office confirmed that the Embassy will soon move to another place in Thai capital but without the ‘lucky’ statue of Queen Victoria.
The new UK embassy will be based in the AIA Sathorn Tower in the central business district of Bangkok. The colonial-era embassy was built in 1922 when the British government bought the nine-acre site on the outskirts of Thai capital.
A war memorial on the site, commemorating Thai soldiers lost on the Western Front during the First World War, will move to the British Club when the embassy moves to a modern building, a shared tower block with no outside space. According to the Foreign Office, £420m raised will be used to renovate other embassies around the world.
Boris Johnson said:
“Britain is a leading player on the global stage and I’m determined to ensure that our diplomats have all the necessary tools to do their job effectively.
The UK lost statue of Queen Victoria in Bangkok
A “lucky” statue of Queen Victoria will be lost to the nation when the historic embassy in Bangkok moves to a new premise which is “just an office block”, the Foreign Office admitted.
The statue, which has stood on the site for almost 100 years, will stay in its current location even after diplomats leave the colonial-era compound and tropical gardens which have been sold for £420m, a record sum for a foreign office sale.
It is believed by Bangkok residents to give good luck and is often visited by locals who ask it for blessings such as fertility, success in exams or a good marriage.