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Nude lessons, anyone?

entertainment Updated: Sep 30, 2006 18:43 IST

An art professor has caused a stir in China's art circles and Internet chat rooms for stripping in front of a class to make a point while lecturing.

Mo Xiaoxin, an assistant professor of art at the Teachers' University of Technology in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, stunned 30 students by stripping naked.

The teacher said he wanted to emphasis the power of the body and "confront taboos."

Mo was teaching a class on physical art and humanity culture studies, the first course of its kind to be approved by the Ministry of Culture. It has been running for six years.

Mo's action stunned the students and has led to heated debate after being reported on Tuesday by a local newspaper, 'China Daily' reported.

"Mo's nudity might have disgusted many students who weren't prepared to see the unattractive body of an old man," said Wang Xiongjun, a college student in Beijing.

However, people in art circles say they can understand Mo's action.

Dean of the Art Research Institute under Nanjing Museum, Zhuang Tianming said teaching with nude models is common in the art world, with teachers themselves sometimes acting as models.

"In Mo's case, the motivation for his action should be considered before any judgement is made," he said.

"The action is excusable if it was part of the lesson," said Zhuang, adding that nudity was fundamental to studying physical beauty and sketching.