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No More Nude Dancing

Last night at Reykjavík’s strip club Vegas, the final nude dance performance took place, reports. A law prohibiting it came into effect at midnight, abolishing all exemptions for clubs offering nude women dancing.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In the late 1990s, Iceland saw a boom in strip clubs. At one point, eight such clubs were operated in the greater capital area, three in north Iceland’s capital Akureyri, and one in Keflavík. They have since been closed one by one.

In recent years, a special exemption from the law had to be applied for in order to operate such clubs, but starting today, it is simply forbidden to capitalize on nudity in bars and clubs.

Many strip club owners have reacted to the new law by changing their operation entirely. Vegas, for example, will be turned into a Beatles-bar, with no scantily clad ladies anywhere to be seen.

Despite the law amendment, pole dancing performances will not be completely gone, just slightly modified. According to the owner of nightclub Goldfinger Ásgeir Davídsson, the amendment means that the women who perform at his club will not strip entirely, in otherwords, the law will be honored. But they would still be scantily clad.

When asked if he felt he was circumventing the law, Davídsson answered that he couldn’t be bothered with worrying about that. The police would surely inform him of what is legal and what isn’t.

Nonetheless, the law is quite clear, stipulating that it is unlawful to offer nude performances or profit in any way from the nudity of employees or anyone else present.

“I simply interpret the law amendment as forbidding us to show women’s private parts. Adam covered his nudity with a fig leaf and thereby, he wasn’t naked anymore,” said Davídsson.

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