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Indonesian Theme Park Covers Breasts of Mermaid Statues, Citing 'Eastern Values'

Two mermaid statues in an Indonesian theme park were the latest victim of haphazard censorship.

According to The Guardian, the management of Ancol Dreamland in Jakarta recently made the rather absurd decision to cover the breasts of two naked mermaid statues within the park compound with golden cloth. The sculptures have been in place for years without any complaint, but a new effort by park management to make Ancol more “appropriate” to appeal to families led to the censorship.

The move has been the target of online ridicule by Indonesian netizens, some of whom wondered if the country’s conservative faction had anything to do with the “swimsuitgate.” The rumor, however, was dismissed by Ancol Dreamland spokeswoman Rika Lestari. Lestari told local press that her park wasn’t under pressure by any external organization, but is trying to adhere to “eastern values.”

“We’re eastern people, we have eastern culture, so what was inappropriate we made it more appropriate,” she shared with Indonesian newspaper Kompas. “It’s just a matter of perception, because what we’ve done was the best for us. It’s a good thing, so why not.”

The two mermaids have since been relocated to a less public place in the park after park-goers repeatedly pulled down the golden “bras.”

This instance of censorship might ring some bells among Vietnamese readers, as this time last year, a few local statues were also covered up by makeshift clothing pieces. The Hon Dau Resort in Hai Phong has in possession 12 nude sculptures in the shape of Vietnam’s zodiac animals, which became known nationally after park managers decided that their exposed genitalia were not family-friendly and thus, put swimwear items over their nether region.

[Photo via The Guardian]

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