Lifestyle & Belief

Nude museum tour in Austria opens doors to naked men (VIDEO)


Tourists take a picture of an artwork entitled "Mr Big" by Austrian artist Ilse Haider outside of the Leopold Museum in Vienna for an exhibition on nude men, entitled "Nackte Manner" (Naked Men), on October 16, 2012.



When you think about it, there’s something fittingly symmetrical to disrobing before touring an art museum’s collection of nudes.

That’s what a group of Austrian men found this week when they explored the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

They were there for a special nudists-only tour of an exhibit called “Nude Men from 1800 to Today.” No women were allowed.

The special unveiling, if you will, came about when a man stripped naked last November as he toured the Leopold. He put his clothes back on when security discovered him.

After the museum was flooded with calls asking for similar privileges, staff decided there might be something to a nude tour.

“We got requests from all over the world from people who were inspired by the exhibition ... who asked us, ‘Can we visit the exhibition naked?’” museum representative Klaus Pokorny told The Associated Press.

The museum itself said the show is long overdue. There are plenty of shows exploring female anatomy, but few that delve into men. It debuted last fall, and was recently extended.

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“The exhibition ‘naked men’ will offer an unprecedented overview of the depiction of male nudes,” the Leopold website says. “Starting with the period of Enlightenment in the 18th century, the presentation will focus mainly on the time around 1800, on tendencies of Salon Art, as well as on art around 1900 and after 1945.”

About 200 patrons explored the 300 paintings, photos, drawings and sculptures, The Independent reported.

While staff remained clothed, the museum was closed that day for the gathering.

“This is the most natural thing in the world,” one guest told The Independent. “I enjoy being naked. … In this environment I can freely do it without upsetting anyone.”

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