A performance art team made quite a scene in the central town of Hue on Friday morning with a piece about the ongoing environmental disaster that has killed a large number of fish in Vietnam.
But only a few hours after the artists started walking along the Huong (Perfume) River, carrying dead fish and performing mournful music, cultural officials thought they had seen and heard enough.
Nguyen Van Ha, chief culture inspector of Thua Thien-Hue Province, told local media that the group did not apply for permission to perform the piece in public.
“Such a performance has disturbed public order, so we have to stop it,” Ha said.
The project is developed by Viet Art Space, a group of six local artists and French artist Maxime Lacino.
In one of the most memorable parts of the piece, one artist painted his body completely white and crawled with a dead fish in his mouth.
Hundreds of people reportedly gathered around the group, until the artists were escorted to a police station.
Mass fish deaths have been reported in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri provinces.
With Vietnamese authorities still struggling to determine the exact cause of the disaster, public concern and even suspicion have been mounting.
The artists perform by the Huong River in Hue on April 29, 2016. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre