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March 22, 2012

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'Pornographic' sculptures to make a modest return

SCULPTURES in a Pudong hotel that were covered up after being branded pornographic are going back on display - though with the most revealing given a lower profile.

The five artworks at the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai depict the naked figures of a muscular man and a full-figured woman kissing and embracing in different poses.

"People have different understandings of the artworks," said Eve Zhou, a public relations official with the hotel. "Opinion is very subjective, but at least no one said they're ugly!"

Zhou said the sculptures are sited on a sixth-floor roof garden, on the hotel premises.

But management are changing the locations of the works, placing a less-revealing pose of the couple hugging face-to-face at the entrance of the garden.

The others can only be seen when visitors come out into the roof garden, as they are blocked by a man-made hill.

Previously, the hotel placed the most revealing sculpture - in which the man stands behind the woman as they kiss and caress - at the entrance.

The sculptures had been on display for six months but attracted little attention until web users uploaded photographs of the artworks.

Most people commenting on the images said they were bewildered by the hotel's intentions in displaying them.

Some web users said they were pornographic, while others made jokes about the hotel.

After the controversy broke, hotel management covered up the sculptures.

The artworks, entitled "I Am Beauty," by artist Geng Bo, are in the private collection of the hotel owner, Dai Zhikang.

Members of the public wanting to see the sculptures will have to wait until July, as the garden is closed for maintenance.


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