Spencer Tunick Bill Attempts to Outlaw Public Nudity

13 June 2012

A member of the Israeli parliament submitted a bill for approval that would mandate one-year prison terms for anyone who gets naked in public for commercial or artistic purposes.

The American photographer Spencer Tunick is famous for his large-scale nude shoots in open places. Last year more than 1,000 Israelis posed nude on the shores of the Dead Sea. In response to this shoot, Israeli Minister Nissim Zeev, submitted a bill that would outlaw public nudity anywhere in the country except at established nude beaches.

It was Nissim Zeev who sought to prevent Tunick's photo shoot in 2011. He called the shoot "an act of prostitution in the guise of art."

Zeev argued in the bill that such displays infringe on the human rights of the offended citizens. "When progress in 'the public discourse' comes at the expense of a broad public of Jews, Muslims, Christians and members of other religions in the country, and constitutes an insult to religious precepts regarding modesty and a serious transgression of forbidden sexual relations, and infringes on religious sentiments of religious citizens — this is a violation of their rights and a fundamental restriction must be placed on it."

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation was expected to decide on Sunday June 10th whether or not the government will support the bill.

Meanwhile, Tunick has made his own concession to scandalized citizens of the world, pledging to use body paint for the first time in his upcoming shoot of Munich residents, who he will photograph surrounding the city's opera house to celebrate Wagner's Ring Cycle.

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