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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
France bares all for sake of art
Volunteers pose on the waterfront in Lyon
Men and women of all ages had gathered before dawn for the shoot
Almost 1,500 men and women have stripped naked in the name of art in the French city of Lyon.

The volunteers gathered before dawn to join the latest nude photo shoot by New York artist Spencer Tunick.

Directed by the artist from a crane, they posed with arms and legs in the air between shipping containers in Lyon's port, and on a waterfront.

Previous shoots have been held in New York, Belgium, Barcelona and Brazil, as well as London and Tyneside in the UK.

Art festival

Men and women of all ages, most of them from the Lyon area but some from further afield, arrived in the city at 0430 GMT to receive their instructions.

Volunteers pose in Lyon, France, for New York artist Spencer Tunick
Spencer Tunick has set up nude photo shoots all over the world

Addressing them from the crane, Tunick told the crowd he saw the port as representing the mystery of commerce, the AFP news agency reports.

The point where the rivers Saone and Rhone joined was a meeting point that he liked to think of "as like the legs of a woman", he said.

As dawn broke, the volunteers stripped naked and scurried into place, ready to move into formation with arms and legs held high.

Questioned after the shoot, the models said they had signed up "for the experience" or "for art's sake".

"I was determined to do it, just for the pleasure of running naked on the grass in the centre of Lyon, this town people call so bourgeois and stuck in its ways," a young Lyon resident told AFP.

Another model, Diane Wailes from London, said she had come to France with her family to take part, after appearing in previous Tunick shoots in Belgium and Tyneside this year.

The photographs will go on display in Lyon in November, as part of the city's biennial modern art festival.

Tunick, 38, carried out the world's largest nude photo shoot in Barcelona in June 2003, when 7,000 volunteers stripped for the camera.

In 1994 both he and a female model were arrested in New York when she posed nude on top of an eight-foot high replica Christmas tree in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.

Stripping off in the name of art
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27 Oct 03 |  Entertainment
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09 Jun 03 |  Europe
Naked truth of art volunteers
29 Apr 03 |  Entertainment
Selfridges hosts naked art show
27 Apr 03 |  London

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