- Associated Press - Saturday, September 17, 2011

JERUSALEM (AP) - About 1,000 Israelis have bared it all in a mass nude photo shoot at the Dead Sea.

The volunteers stripped down Saturday for photographer Spencer Tunick, who has gained fame for his nude group photos in public spaces around the world.

Tunick chose the Dead Sea for his latest project to deliver an environmental message highlighting the plight of the world’s lowest and saltiest body of water. The fabled salty lake is dropping nearly 4 feet a year.

The Dead Sea is linked to the sites of the biblical Sodom and Gomorra, and one conservative Israeli lawmaker compared the photo shoot to that ancient debauchery.

But the 43-year-old Tunick has praised Israel as the only country in the Middle East with the freedom for one of his trademark nude shoots.

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