‘Nude mansion’ sparks anger in Korean Christian saint’s hometown
Mansion offering tennis and other outdoor activities had been closed before after backlash from nearby residents
By Lee Han-soo
The reopening of a “nude mansion” in South Korea’s Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province, has reignited conflict between guests and residents.
Locals, mostly registered with a nearby Catholic church, have lambasted the mansion as provocative and un-Christian, while its owner claims being naked in the compound of his own property is a freedom that cannot be challenged. The mansion’s guests have been seen playing tennis and other outdoor activities while naked by people walking on a nearby road.
Another criticism is the mansion’s location: next to the birthplace of St. John Baptist Nam Chong-sam.
“Whenever I go to pick herbs or hike the back mountains, I can see the nudists at their mansion,” a resident said. “I can’t just close my eyes whenever I go to the mountains, can I?”
The mansion was built in 2009 and is operated by a naturist group here. It was shut down the same year after a fierce backlash from locals. But it reopened recently, offering guests venues for outdoor activities they can enjoy while naked.
The mansion’s operator claims nudism is “not a matter up for discussion,” adding “their choice (of being naked) should be respected as long as it doesn’t violate the existing law.”
Police checked on the mansion at the request of residents, but found nothing unlawful.
“I don’t understand why the locals are so upset about this (mansion),” a guest said. “The resort is far away from the local town and is on private property.”
Residents will continue to stage protests near the mansion, calling for its permanent closure.