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    Oz: No more swimwear carrying Goddess images

    Melbourne: An Australian company on Wednesday said that it has cancelled production of swimwear depicting images of Goddess Lakshmi, which caused uproar among Hindu community in Melbourne.

    The Lisa Blue Swimwear company triggered a controversy by depicting images of Goddess on a bikini bottom and front of a model who walked the ramp at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney recently.

    "The image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear," said a statement posted by the company on its website.

    It said the images were depicted "out of a love of conservation, spirituality and a respect for all people."

    "At no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence. The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand," it said.

    The company has already apologized to the Hindu community for hurting their sentiments.

    "We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway removed," it said.

    "This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world. We apologize to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously," the statement said.

    Commenting on the development, President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed said world businesses should be careful when handling various religious traditions as faith was something very sacred to the devotees.