Bare-breasted mermaids get covered up in Indonesia

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The bare chests of two mermaid statues have been covered up at an Indonesian theme park

The bare chests of two mermaid statues have been covered up at an Indonesian theme park (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)

Jakarta (AFP) - A pair of bare-breasted mermaid statues have been given the family values treatment at an Indonesian amusement park where officials slipped golden tube tops over their chests.

While the nude statues have been on display for years at Jakarta's Ancol Dreamland, a recent policy aimed at respecting "Eastern values" has seen the mermaids get an official cover-up.

The statues were initially just covered with gold fabric, but they've now also been moved to a more secluded area after visitors kept pulling the coverings down, park sources told AFP.

Ancol Dreamland spokeswoman Rika Lestari insisted no outside agitators were behind the cover-up.

"There was no pressure from any group," she said. "Ancol is trying to become an amusement park and vacation spot for families."

That didn't stop the park's move from being widely mocked.

"Thanks Ancol. Now, no one will commit adultery of the eyes from looking at the mermaids' breasts," comedian Soleh Solihun wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Lestari told the Indonesian newspaper Kompas: "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."

Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim majority country and relatively conservative social values are prevalent.