Facebook users in Phetchaburi cried foul after photos of museum officials drinking at a party held at the sacred Khao Wang (Palace Mountain) were posted on Facebook on Friday night.
Khao Wang mountain is important because it has triple status as the location of a palace, national museum and two temples. It the location of a palace built by King Rama IV that has become a national museum, Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum.
Two temples are also located on the mountain.
Khao Wang is thus simultaneously the location of a palace, a museum and temples.
At 9:52pm, a party goer, who is said to be an official of the Phra Nakhon Khiri museum, posted 29 photos from the party, and tagged 18 other party-goers.
Among the party-goers allegedly captured in a photo was museum chief Praphapan Srisuk.
After Phetchaburi’s Facebook users cried foul, Praphapan claimed that the party was not held within the palace’s compound but rather at a staff building. She conceded that it was inappropriate to hold a drinking party on the mountain.
Praphapan said her museum has 70 officials and the party was thrown for those who have been transferred. She said the museum had no place to hold an internal party of that size and did not expect that anyone would post photos of the event.
She apologised for having failed to thoroughly consider the feelings of local people who cherish the historical site. Praphapan promised not to do it again.
The two temples atop the mountain are Wat Phra Kaew Noi and Wat Maha Sommanram Wora Viharn.
The alcoholic drink control law of 2008 prohibits drinking alcohol in temples, government offices and in a palace compound.
A violator is subject to a maximum fine of Bt10,000 (S$417) or a maximum jail term of six months, or both.