Indonesian singer's statue sparks controversy

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JAKARTA, Nov 13 (Reuters) A statue of an Indonesian singer famous for her controversial dance moves has been removed from a street after police said critics would try to demolish it, a report said.

Inul Daratista became one of Indonesia's hottest singers four years ago thanks to her trademark gyrating dance moves, known locally as ''drilling.'' The dance style, which involves gyrating the hips at breakneck speed, has sparked controversy in the world's most populous Muslim country, with Islamic clerics calling it erotic and urging authorities to ban her concerts.

Inul's statue, which she donated for public display, had been erected in the posh Pondok Indah area in south Jakarta for five days but it was shrouded by a white cloth before it was removed, Detik.com news Web site said.

Local residents removed it because police said opponents of her dancing had threatened to destroy the statue.

The copper statue, which depicts her performing her dance routine and cost 8,729 dollars to make, was due to be unveiled by the singer today.

''We'd better save it before it is demolished by irresponsible people,'' the neighbourhood association chief, Warsito Sanjoto, was quoted as saying by Detik.com.

Before it was removed, the statue had been guarded by police, soldiers and the neighbourhood's private guards, it said.

REUTERS SKB RN1514

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