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Thousands strip for art and cancer awareness on Sydney's Bondi beach

SYDNEY – Thousands stripped naked on Sydney’s iconic Bondi beach on Saturday for an art installation aimed at raising awareness about skin cancer and sun safety.

The famous surf strand became a nudist beach for the day as around 2,500 volunteers peeled off at dawn to pose for artist Spencer Tunick.

The American photographer’s strategically taken shots tried to hide his subject’s modesty, as he gave instructions over a megaphone from an elevated work platform.

The large-scale art event – Strip Off For Skin Cancer – was in collaboration with a charity that encourages Australians to have regular skin checks.

The number of volunteers represented the 2,000+ Australians who die each year due to skin cancer.

“I’ve spent half my life in the sun and had a couple of malignant melanomas taken off my back,” participant Bruce Fasher, 77, told AFP. “I thought this was a good cause and I love taking my clothes off on Bondi beach.”

Mr Tunick is known for artworks of naked crowds at well-known landmarks around the world, including a similar event at the Sydney Opera House in 2010.

“It is only fitting that I use my platform to urge people to get regular check-ups to prevent skin cancer,” he said. - AFP

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