Saudi King Salman is visiting Asia on a trip designed to shore up his Middle Eastern kingdom’s economic and cultural ties with countries in the region.
But the Saudi royal’s visit to the Indonesian island of Bali has raised some eyebrows after local authorities decided to not cover up statues of Hindu deities and semi-naked women.
That decision came just days after the Indonesian government covered nude statues at the presidential palace in Bogor, near the capital, Jakarta. The statues were either surrounded with plant pots or draped in cloth, according to reports.
A local website, Kumparan, reported that the decision to cover statues at the Bogor palace was made because Salman was the official representative of an Islamic country, although statues have been covered up for foreign leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited the palace in January.
But the governor of predominantly Hindu Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, told a local newspaper that the statues on the island “will not be covered” for Salman’s visit.
“Bali is famous for being comfortable, safe, and tolerant, so we will leave it as is,” Pastika was quoted as saying.