A waterfront entertainment and resort complex in Indonesia is suddenly concerned with the modesty of its mermaid sculptures after debuting them more than 15 years ago.
Ancol Dreamland, located in Ancol Bay City in Jakarta, has decided to cover up the topless statues with bronze tops, a move park officials say they made in an effort to create a more “family friendly” atmosphere.
A spokesperson told the BBC the decision was the park’s own and not one that was influenced by “external pressure.”
"We are in the process of reshaping ourselves to be a family-friendly amusement park,” said Rika Lestari, a spokeswoman for a firm that partially owns the park, in a statement to the outlet. The BBC further reported that the changes came amid the park’s efforts to allegedly respect “Eastern values.”
As of Tuesday, however, the statues were removed from their spots outside of the park’s Putri Duyung Resort following reports of criticism and confusion from guests, the Jakarta Post reported. Lestari had told the Jakarta Post the statues were being fixed “to make them look better.”
“They became the center of attention so we are fixing them to improve them,” Lestari said.
News of the statues’ removal comes after guests, and even the original sculptor, questioned Ancol Dreamland’s decision and motives.
"What they did was close public access to enjoy the arts," said sculptor Dolorosa Sinaga in a statement to BBC Indonesia.
"The statues didn't disturb us," added another parkgoer who visits with her children. "It's weird to see art pieces being covered like that."
A spokesperson for Ancol Dreamland could not confirm to the Jakarta Post when the statues would be placed back in the resort.