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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Some 2,500 people took off their clothes on Saturday to pose for U.S. photographic artist Spencer Tunick at Sydney's Bondi Beach in an effort to raise awareness about skin cancer.
Tunick, known for staging mass nude photo shoots at world landmarks, used a megaphone to direct attendees into several poses on the beach before many took a naked dip in the ocean.
The New York-based artist collaborated with a charity on the naked art installation in a bid to raise awareness about melanoma, Australia's fourth most common form of cancer. The federal government estimates that this year 17,756 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in Australia, and 1,281 Australians will die from the disease.
"We have an opportunity to raise awareness about skin checks and I'm honoured ... to come here, make my art and just celebrate the body and protection," Tunick said at the beach on a crisp spring morning in Sydney.
A participant, Robyn Lindner, said she overcame nerves to strip for the shoot, which organisers said involved 2,500 people.
"I was secretly terrified (and) last night I have to confess I was thinking, 'What have I done?' But it was great, everyone was a really good vibe, everyone was really respectful and it just felt really fun," Lindner told Reuters.
Tunick last directed a mass shoot in Sydney in 2010, when 5,200 Australians posed naked at the Sydney Opera House.
(Reporting by Jill Gralow, James Redmayne and Sam McKeith; Editing by Will Dunham)