A horse parades during the horse show segment of a horse festival on the outskirts of Riyadh on January 25, 2012
A horse parades during the horse show segment of the al-Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival at al-Khaledia farm on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh on January 25, 2012. Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the southwest after the kingdom's top cleric denounced them as sinful, local media reported on Wednesday. © Fayez Nureldine - AFP/File
A horse parades during the horse show segment of a horse festival on the outskirts of Riyadh on January 25, 2012
AFP
Last updated: June 12, 2013

Saudi smashes sinful horse statues on cleric's orders

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the southwest after the kingdom's top cleric denounced them as sinful, local media reported on Wednesday.

The municipality in the town of Abu Arish in Jazan province bordering Yemen demolished the statues on Tuesday, local online news website jazantoday.org reported.

The decision came after Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Shaikh sent a letter to the governor of Jazan demanding that "the sculptures be removed because they are a great sin and are prohibited under sharia (Islamic law)," said another news webitse, sabq.org.

Statues of people and animals are prohibited under Islam as they represent a form of idolatry. However, the religion does allow artworks depicting plants and landscapes.

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