Art involving Jesus
has been the cause of great controversy in the United States, so it’s not all that surprising that a pair of sculptures that look a whole lot like naked Buddhas climbing walls have landed a hot pot restaurant in Jinan, China, in hot water.
China’s Xinhua News service even called them “giant naked Buddha sculptures” in its tweet report:
Photos of the sculptures went viral after Xinhua posted them to the Chinese social network Sina Weibo.
Miaoming, a Buddhist practitioner from the Beihai Zen Monastery in Qinghai province, blogged about the sculptures: “I burst into tears when I saw naked Buddhas climbing over the wall! How come a nation with a thousand-year history has so little respect for its own culture?”
According to The Huffington Post
, it wasn’t the restaurant owners’ intent for the sculptures to be perceived as Buddhas. They were supposed to be “naughty children” and were meant to catch the attention of potential customers. (It isn’t entirely clear why huge, naked children climbing on a restaurant would be an enticement to eat there.)
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The Global Post
connected the sculptures to a decadent Chinese soup dish called fo tiao qiang
, which translates to “Buddha jumps over the wall.”
The restaurant took the sculptures down Monday night. Reports conflict over whether local authorities ordered them removed.