Indonesian theme park covers up bare-chested mermaids with golden crop tops to conform with 'Eastern values'
In a bizarre move, an Indonesian theme park decided to cover up a couple of its bare-chested mermaid statues with golden crop tops to conform with and respect 'Eastern values'. The nude mermaid figures, that have been on display for years at Jakarta's Ancol Dreamland, are being covered up due to a recent policy change.
As a result of the new policy, the statues have been adorned with their new accessories by the theme park's bosses. They also decided to move the statues to a more secluded area after people visiting the park kept pulling the coverings down, according to the Daily Mail.
Ancol Dreamland spokeswoman Rika Lestari insisted that no outside agitators were behind the cover-up after various people questioned whether the park was forced into the decision. "This is purely an agreement from the management and there was no pressure from any group," she said. "Ancol is trying to become an amusement park and vacation spot for families."
But that still hasn't stopped the park's ridiculous new rule to be mocked by people, ever since photos of the statues' new wardrobe went viral in Indonesia over the weekend. "Thanks, Ancol. Now, no one will commit adultery of the eyes from looking at the mermaids' breasts," comedian Soleh Solihun wrote on Twitter.
The sculptor of the mermaids, Dolorosa Sinaga, told BBC Indonesia that the park has denied the public "the beauty of art products". She said, "What they did was close public access to enjoy the arts." And even park visitors seemed to be quite bemused with the decision.
"The statues didn't disturb us," said Nanda Julinda, who took her children to the park. "It's weird to see art pieces being covered like that." M Taufik Ficky, another park visitor, said: "It's located by the beach, and they are mermaids, and you wouldn't see mermaid covered with cloth like that."
Earlier, Lestari spoke to the Indonesian newspaper Kompas, saying: "We're Eastern people, we have Eastern culture, so what was inappropriate we made it more appropriate. 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."
Indonesian analysts have said there has been a rise in people using the justification of "Eastern norms" to develop new policies. Samsul Maarif, a lecturer at the Centre for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies at the University of Gadjah Mada in Jogjakarta, told local media the term has been overused to suit people's personal definitions.