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Briton and Canadian Arrested for Tagging Graffiti on Chiang Mai’s Famous Tha Phae Gate Wall

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CHIANG MAI – Police in Mueng Chiang Mai detained a 23 year-old Briton and Canadian woman for tagging graffiti on the wall of the famous Tha Phae gate in Chiang Mai early on Thursday morning.

Furlong Lee, 23, a British traveler, and Brittney Schneider, 23 from Canada have been charged with public mischief and damaging city property, Pol Col Theerasak Sriprasert, chief of the Muang police said.

CM108.com ran the story and a video clip showing four foreigners walking along the road at the gate shortly before 4am. Two of them were seen writing a message on the wall.

The message seeems to be “Scougge Lee B”, but a foreigner commented on the Facebook post that it actually was “Scouser Lee B”, meaning Lee B from Liverpool.

The clip was taken from a nearby security camera at CoolMuang Coffee.

Viewers’ comments rapidly escalated, accusing the graffitists of showing the city no respect and asking authorities to arrest them.

Thorranin Chaweechan, the coffeeshop manager, said he saw the graffiti when rewinding the recording to see what had been happening, and decided to post it on social media, the Chiang Mai News reported.

The message sprayed on the wall at Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai city. (Photo from @Live_Chiangmai Twitter account)

Workers from the Fine Arts Department have removed graffit, Tha Phae gate is one of the city’s best known landmarks.

Chiang Mai’s Tha Pae Gate has a long and fascinating history, stretching back to when the province acted as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom from the 13th-18 century. During the city’s formation in the 13th century, the wall, adjacent moat and several large gates were built as defensive measures in case of attack (armies from the Mongol Empire in nearby Burma were a constant threat).
Small invasions over the centuries, as well as locals and tourists climbing over it, have left most of the Old City wall in rubble, although the Tha Pae Gate section remains mostly intact, and has been re-built in parts over the years to carry on the rich heritage of Chiang Mai.