Britons arrested for naked wooden horse stunt in icy Riga
Bone-chilling temperatures failed to deter four British tourists from strutting their stuff stark naked in the Latvian capital Riga, police said Monday.
In their ongoing campaign to crack down on drunken tourists in the Baltic state, Latvian state police posted a surveillance-camera video on the Internet showing the men undressing and then climbing onto a wooden horse monument early Monday morning.
The naked quartet dismounted and dressed quickly when a police patrol arrived.
Police said they were arrested and each fined 75 lats (107 euros, 140 dollars) for minor hooliganism.
Temperatures in Riga hit minus 15 Celsius (five degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday.
In recent years, Riga has been a hugely popular low-cost destination for young Britons on stag weekends, the often drunken ritual of partying hard with a groom before his wedding.
Locals and tourism officials regularly blast the boozy antics, dubbing them a turn-off for other visitors who want to take in sights such as Riga's Art Nouveau architecture.
Tourists regularly have been arrested and fined for urinating or being photographed naked on Riga's Freedom Monument, a symbol of Latvia's struggle against centuries of foreign domination.
While Latvia has become even cheaper due to its deep economic slump, the number of British tourists has dwindled amid their own country's economic woes.
The British embassy in Riga frequently has expressed regret over the behaviour of its citizens but underlined that most are not troublemakers and should not be associated with the unruly minority.
© 2010 AFP