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Opposition party whip condemns nude portrayal of Park

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party condemned a lawmaker on Wednesday for displaying a painting portraying President Park Geun-hye in the nude at a parliamentary building.

On Tuesday, the party referred Rep. Pyo Chang-won to its ethics panel for organizing the exhibition which featured the picture titled "Dirty Sleep" where Park was lying naked in a parody of Edouard Manet's "Olympia."

"It is a punishable act," said floor leader Rep. Woo Sang-ho. "The Democratic Party will promptly take steps for punishment through the ethics committee.

"We would have not remained silent if someone had drawn a nude painting of former President Roh Moo-hyun when he was impeached," Woo added. Roh was impeached in 2004 for his remarks that violated political neutrality before local elections, but was reinstated by the Constitutional Court.

Park was impeached by parliament in December due to a corruption scandal, with the top court currently determining the legality of her ouster.

Members of a conservative civic body take away a painting titled "Dirty Sleep," which portrays President Park Geun-hye in the nude, from an exhibition at the National Assembly building in Seoul in this file photo taken on Jan. 24, 2017. (Yonhap)

Woo, however, said the punishment is for the improper exhibition organized by Pyo, and that he has no intention to limit the artists' freedom.

Concerning conservative protesters that threw the painting on the ground on Tuesday, Woo said those involved should also be punished.

In the face of criticism, Pyo said earlier the exhibition should be respected in terms of freedom of speech, but that he will take responsibility for the controversy.

colin@yna.co.kr

(END)

Park So-yeon  edt@koeapost.com

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