Offending bears removed from exhibit

  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Sep 2016

GEORGE TOWN: An exhibition featuring the United Buddy Bears will be on display at the Esplanade till Oct 30 as scheduled.

Two bears with words from the hadith placed at inappropriate parts of the sculptures were removed from the 146 on display.

“We also took advice from Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim,” said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He was speaking after giving out incentives to three shuttlers who won silver medals at the recent Rio Olympic Games.

It was reported yesterday that Penang Umno Youth protested the placing of the verses near the buttocks of two bear sculptures.

“The verses were etched near the rear of the sculpture, which is demeaning to Islam.

“We support the effort to spread unity, but the hadith should at least be given the right place on the bear,” state Umno Youth chief Rafizal Abdul Rahim told reporters on Wed­nesday.

Of the 146 bears from Berlin in Germany, 140 represent countries in the United Nations while six are general ones. The two removed were from among the six.

Those representing the various countries are painted by the artist of the country they represent.

The bears, which are made of fibreglass and are about two metres tall, have been exhibited since 2002 in cities such as Berlin, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Vienna to promote tolerance and understanding.

Lim said he was made to understand that there was no issue when the bears were exhibited at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in 2011.

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