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Nudity and dancing at sacred sites outrages locals

July 6, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In two separate provocative actions shown below, each involving sacred tourist attractions, a Belgian model has posed naked near the Western Wall in Jerusalem and a video has gone viral showing two female tourists in skimpy outfits dancing on the wall of a famous Malaysian mosque.

While the two incidents are not connected, both have produced big backlashes from indignant locals. They underscore the importance of respecting other cultures and beliefs when travelling, a factor that doesn’t seem to have been fully considered. The nudity was apparently done for effect; the dancing out of ignorance.

Belgian model Marisa Papen, 26, decided to strip near the Western Wall in Jerusalem (as below), to publicise an exhibition that opened recently in Belgium. She has previously been detained by police in Egypt for posing naked in front of ancient temples.

Copies of the photo of Papen sunbathing naked on a terrace of a private residence overlooking the Western Wall are being sold at a gallery in the Belgian beach resort of Knokke, HLN news site reported last week. It’s part of an exhibition titled “Frank Rose – Will Take Cash for Art”.

The invitation to the opening of the exhibition shows Papen climbing naked up a flagpole flying the Israeli flag. The photo above certainly stirred up a hornets’ nest of comments!

IN MALAYSIA MEANWHILE, two dance teachers from China were arrested at a hotel, brought to court and convicted of dancing in an indecent manner outside the main mosque in the city of Kota Kinabalu, a popular site for visitors and tour groups.

Their “vulgar dancing”’ video went viral, landing the dancing duo in the local Magistrate’s Court, where they were fined a paltry MYR 25 (AUD 8.35) in lieu of seven days’ jail.

The women – Zhang Na, 25, and Wang Han, 37 – admitted committing indecent behaviour in a public place by dancing on the perimeter wall of the mosque at 4.30pm on Saturday, Free Malaysia Today reported. They apparently didn’t realise the offence it would cause.

The pair asked the court for the minimum fine as they were due to fly home later that day, and that was granted. They paid the fine and were escorted to Kota Kinabalu International Airport to catch their flight to China.

Residents and local Muslim groups were outraged by the display outside the mosque on Borneo island, which is renowned for its huge blue and gold dome and ornate minarets. An outraged onlooker can be heard in the video saying in the local language: “Why don’t they just fall off the wall?”

Written by Peter Needham

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