5,000 pose nude in Australia

March 1, 2010 at 2:23 PM

SYDNEY, March 1 (UPI) -- A photographer said about 5,000 people stripped nude on the steps of Australia's Sydney Opera House for a photo shoot.

Spencer Tunick, a U.S. photographer famous for his group shots of naked people, said his photography project, The Base, drew 5,000 nude participants Sunday morning, including professional rugby players and a woman expected to give birth to twins later in the day, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

Tunick said the project, part of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, is designed to promote equality and diversity.

"My biggest challenge was to fill up this large space and make a 'base' of gay, lesbian and straight individuals to make a fabric," he said. "I think I did that. I think I accomplished what I set out to do artistically.

"I'm just very honored to be part of the Mardi Gras -- the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras -- and bring the straight community of Australia together with the gay community," Tunick said.

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