JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

​Vietnam warns against 'inappropriate' statues after nude sculpture cover-up

Saturday, April 07, 2018, 13:08 GMT+7
​Vietnam warns against 'inappropriate' statues after nude sculpture cover-up
Godlike sculptures with animal heads and human genitalia are seen at Hon Dau resort in Hai Phong city, east of Hanoi, Vietnam April 5, 2018. Picture taken April 5, 2018. REUTERS/

HANOI - Vietnam’s culture ministry has issued a directive against “inappropriate” statues after images of godlike sculptures with animal heads and human genitalia stoked controversy.

The statues on display at a holiday resort in the city of Hai Phong, have had their offending parts modestly covered up with bikinis and other swim wear, but that has only added to the interest in them.

“We actually didn’t want to cover the statues because it’s art, but we wanted to show that we listen,” said Nguyen Trung Thanh, vice director of the Hon Dau International Tourism Company, which owns the statues.

Despite sweeping economic reforms and increasing openness toward social change and ubiquitous internet fare, Vietnam maintains a conservative attitude towards sex and nudity.

The cover-up the offending bits of the statues attracted even more attention with pictures of the more modest displays going viral online.

One male statue with a horse’s head had been dressed in what appeared to be a red miniskirt. Another, with a goat’s head, had been clad a tight pair of green swimming briefs.

“We covered them up, but only the parts of the body people find offensive,” Thanh told Reuters by telephone.

“They’re supposed to be naked”.

Thanh’s company later swapped the sculpture swim wear for plastic leaves and fruit.

“Their fashion changes even faster than the weather,” Facebook user Le Tam joked.

But the culture ministry was not amused.

A woman poses for a photo near godlike sculptures with animal heads and human genitalia at Hon Dau resort in Hai Phong city, east of Hanoi, Vietnam April 5, 2018. Picture taken April 5, 2018. REUTERS/
A woman poses for a photo near godlike sculptures with animal heads and human genitalia at Hon Dau resort in Hai Phong city, east of Hanoi, Vietnam April 5, 2018. Picture taken April 5, 2018. REUTERS

“The recent construction and display of statues and symbols have had contents and forms that are inappropriate to Vietnamese culture,” the ministry said in its directive, published on its website.

The ministry did not single out the Hai Phong statues in the text of its directive but posted a picture of the 12 statues.

The statues had a negative impact on the “cultural environment” and “aesthetic taste” of society, the ministry added.

Thanh said his company had monitored visitors’ responses to the statues when they were first put up some five years ago but had seen no objections.

“Some were taking pictures, some were laughing, some were shy and turned away but no one was responding harshly,” said Thanh, adding there were no plan to remove though they had been designated as an “18+” attraction.

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news

Chilean Air Force finds debris believed to be from missing plane

The aircraft, which was heading to a base in Antarctica, disappeared shortly after taking off late on Monday from the southern city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. The Air Force concluded early the next morning that the aircraft must have crashed, given the number of hours it had been missing