Golden David Beckham statue draws tourists to Buddhist temple

Pariwat temple, in Bangkok, engraved the Beckham statue two decades ago, when Manchester United made history by being the first English football club to win the treble of trophies.

(REUTERS) - Manchester United legend David Beckham has such a strong global appeal and ardent fanbase that a temple in Thailand has installed a gold-painted statue of the footballer at its altar, turning it into a surprising tourist attraction.

Pariwat temple, in Bangkok, engraved the Beckham statue two decades ago, when Manchester United made history by being the first English football club to win the treble of trophies.

The statue, built in a traditional garuda style holding up the altar, features Beckham's trademark floppy hairstyle of that era and his team jersey, and continues to attract visitors to this day.

The temple also features a host of other characters in pop culture, with the likes of Wolverine, Superman and Pikachu adorning the exterior of the building. The temple said the superheroes were installed because they are considered good symbols which can help to protect Buddhism.