January 31, 2000 10:02pm
Lawsuit calls Chile glass house immoral
(SANTIAGO) -- A judge in Chile agreed on Monday to look into a lawsuit against the builders of a glass house inside which a young woman undressed and showered one block from the presidential palace as part of an art project.
Santiago-based Judge Jorge Colvin agreed to investigate a lawsuit presented by lawyer Rene Trincado, who alleges that the project breaks a vaguely worded part of the Constitution that prohibits immoral and bad conduct.
As part of the government-funded project, which debuted on Tuesday, actress and university student Daniella Tobar, 21, slept, used the bathroom, ate, brushed her teeth, read and talked on the phone inside the simple, one-room transparent house in an attempt to accustom Chileans to seeing these daily actions, one of its architects, Arturo Torres, told Reuters earlier.
The building is in the heart of downtown Santiago next to a bank and church and built in an empty, weed-filled lot across the street from the stock exchange. The house, built especially for the project, is surrounded by a wall, but passersby can easily peer over it.
Hundreds of cat-calling men came to watch Tobar undress, and her nude photos were splattered throughout newspapers. The project was a bold step for the Catholic, conservative South American nation, which ended a 17-year military dictatorship in 1990, prohibits divorce and censors books and films.
The project was supposed to run for two weeks, but it is unclear whether it will continue. Tobar has not returned to the house since late last week. The architects were not available for comment.