Some object to nude festival in Italy

Some residents of the Agrigento area on the Italian island of Sicily have objected to an upcoming naturist festival at Capo Bianco beach. The residents, as well as members of the Catholic Church, claim the May 23-25 Capo Bianco festival would be an illegal use of the beach for nude sunbathing, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Italian law forbids nude sunbathing, but exceptions are made for beaches where local councils approve the practice and the areas are overseen by naturist associations. Mayor Cosimo Piro of Cattolica Eraclea, the nearest village to the beach, issued a recent regulation allowing “free use of Capo Bianco by lovers of nude sunbathing.” The mayor, a member of the Christian Democratic party, said the practice would help the beach draw tourists.

However, some have argued the mayor’s regulation is not legally binding. “The beach belongs to the state, not to the local council,” said Father Giuseppe Miliziano, a local priest. “If the state decided to allow people to take their clothes off, there is not much I could do about it. But as far as I am aware no such authorization has been issued.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.


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