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Feb 13,2008
Art photo fallout for U.S. Viet newspaper
by UPI

WESTMINSTER, Calif. -- California's "Little Saigon" is in an uproar over a magazine photograph of a piece of art that supposedly disrespects the South Vietnamese flag.

Protests outside the office of Nguoi Viet in Westminster, Calif., have resulted in the firing of two top editors and a public apology from the publisher, the Los Angeles Times said Tuesday.

The offending sculpture is that of a foot tub used in nail salons that is painted with the colors of the old South Vietnamese flag. It is plugged into a red electrical outlet.

The artist, a Vietnamese-born University of California, Davis student, said the work was a salute to the refugees who came to the United States after the war. Many of them found new careers working in salons.

But critics, including many aging South Vietnamese military veterans, say their old flag being used to wash dirty feet offends them. They also were suspicious of the red plug, which could be interpreted as the current communist regime fueling the economic success of immigrants in the United States, the Times said.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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