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Bare facts I

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The fetishwear store that drew a rebuke from city of Orlando code inspectors for posting a statue of Michelangelo's nude David in the front window has moved from its high-traffic location on Mills Avenue. But they haven't moved far. Absolute Leather opened June 15 at its new store at 1013 W. Colonial Drive, in a small strip center it shares with Mad Dog Tattoo and a tuxedo-rental shop.

The action in April 1998 by code inspectors to order clothes on the disrobed David did not correct a violation but rather revealed civic prudishness; moreover, similar complaints lodged against the neighboring Rainbow City store hinted at harassment of the two businesses that cater to a gay and lesbian clientele. Absolute Leather owner Jim Helmich responded by wrapping a leather chamois around his statue's middle. Visitors to the new store, however, will once again find David displaying his bare essentials within the city limits -- although this time, at least, his back is to the window.


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