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Can being naked be considered free speech? Hundreds strip off for nude photos

American artist, Spencer Tunick, once argued that being naked can be considered as free speech. On Monday, he pushed through with his position when around 500 people braved the Australian winter to pose for a series of controversial nude photographs on top of a Melbourne parking lot

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American artist, Spencer Tunick, once argued that being naked can be considered as free speech. On Monday, he pushed through with his position when around 500 people braved the Australian winter to pose for a series of controversial nude photographs on top of a Melbourne parking lot.

The photo shoot, organized by Tunick, held Monday morning in temperatures of approximately 48 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes just weeks after supermarket chain Woolworths reversed its decision to ban the event from its premises.

Woolworths had initially denied access to its branch in Melbourne’s Prahran neighborhood, citing inconvenience to weekend shoppers. But following public outcry and a high-profile petition, the supermarket last month agreed to host the shoot on condition that it was rescheduled for a quieter Monday timeslot.

A Woolworths spokesperson said that the retailer was “very supportive of the Provocaré Festival of the Arts and the Chapel Street community in which we operate,” attributing the U-turn to festival organizers’ flexibility regarding the timing of the shoot.

Speaking to CNN ahead of Monday’s photo shoot, Tunick praised the decision.

“It’s very rare for a corporation… to be part of something where the body is nude — it’s almost impossible,” he said in a phone interview. “So it’s very brave moment for something like this to happen, when (other) corporations are restricting the body and freedom.”

Read Also: Egypt builds world’s largest museum

Tunick has made his name coordinating more than 120 large-scale nude photos in public spaces around the world, from Munich to Mexico City. The latter stunt attracted a reported 18,000 naked participants. The artist said that being naked in public can “be considered free speech.”

“People want a sense of freedom when it comes to their bodies and public space — that governments … and corporations don’t own your body,” he added.

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Culture

Former Miss Malawi barred from hand over ceremony over improper dressing

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Former Miss Malawi, Tionge Munthali, was on Saturday, barred from a ceremony where she was supposed to hand over her crown to the new winner, Jessica Jescar Mponda, due to her mode of dressing which was seen by organisers as improper.

According to Malawi24, the unending drama surrounding the Miss Malawi Beauty Pageant which saw some of the organisers indicted on sexual harassment allegations, took a different dimension when the former crown holder was barred from the stage for being inappropriately dressed.

“There was a lot going behind the scenes. They ditched tradition all together. Tionge was there and ready to pass on the crown,” the influential platform wrote.

“Our source said that the organisers said her dress was not modest enough to appear before the First Lady who was the Special Guest.

“There was a lot of control because the event had the Malawi First Lady, Monica Chakwera, was the main guest. State house had much to say,” the platform added.

“A photo of the former Queen has been trending on the Internet showing her in a strapless dress with a split running to the thigh,” it wrote.

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Culture

Egypt discovers Greco-Roman funeral building dating back centuries

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The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of a massive Greco-Roman massive funeral building in Fayoum Province, south of the capital Cairo, dating back several centuries.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry said the discovery was made in an Egyptian archaeological mission at the site of Garza Cemetery in Fayoum which started in 2016.

“Several portraits, a statute of Isis-Aphrodite, a combination of the Egyptian Goddess Isis and the Greek Aphrodite, a wooden coffin, human-shaped coffins and papyrus-made records that refer to the social, economic, and religious conditions of the inhabitants of that period, were found inside the building,” the Ministry said.

“The funeral building‘s floor is made of colorful and decorated limestone tiles leading to a narrow street, with remains of four columns found inside the funeral house,” the statement added.

According to history, Garza village which was known as Philadelphia in the Greek era, was established in the third century BC as a central area for a desert reclamation project by King Ptolemy II Philadelphus, also known posthumously as Ptolemy the Great, for securing food resources, according to the statement.

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