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Vietnam official sparks moral outrage for kissing breast of legendary statue

Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 15:06 GMT+7

An official of a district-level office in north-central Vietnam has ignited a wave of outrage after a photo showing him kissing a bare-breasted statue at a famous tourism site surfaced on Facebook.

In the photo, posted on a Facebook account named Le Tran on Thursday, two men are seen approaching the stone statue, one of them even kissing her breast.

The scene of the photo is identified as the Lang Biang Mountain, a popular tourism site in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, and the female sculpture is part of the famous statue couple on its peak.

The statue pair is made to honor the fatalistic love between Lang, or K’lang, and Biang, or H’biang, the legendary Vietnamese ethnic couple in ancient time.

Legend has it that the statue was inspired by the fatalistic but admirable love story of K’lang and H’biang, who could not get married due to tribal difference and both died in the end. The high peak where they died was therefore named Lang Biang, in memories of their everlasting love.

The man with the deviant act toward the statue of Biang is Phan Tuan Anh, an official working for the land office of Vu Quang District in the north-central province of Ha Tinh.

In the meantime, the one who posted the photo on Facebook is Tran Le, head of secretariat of the district’s administration.

The photo is being under fire by the public, with many readers ofTuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper calling the act “immoral” and “uneducated.”

Le said that he posted the photo on Facebook to keep memories of the trip, without expecting to face such public criticism.   

Anh’s improper behavior must have stemmed from his being drunk at that time, according to some of his colleagues.

On Saturday, Pham Quoc Thanh, deputy chairman of Vu Quang District, confirmed to Tuoi Tre that he had been briefed of the issue.

Thanh said Anh, who he said is a young official, is member of a group of district officials who are on a holiday in several southern destinations.

“We will handle this case once the officials all return after the trip,” Thanh said, insisting that an official should not behave in such an immoral manner.

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