Four drunken British tourists have been arrested in the Latvian capital Riga after being found naked astride a life-sized wooden horse in temperatures of minus 15 celsius, police said on Monday.
Police said the four men were posing for pictures at the time of their arrest and were clearly under the influence of alcohol, which may help account for their indifference to the sub-zero temperatures. After being taken to a nearby police station to put their trousers on, the four men aged around 30 years were charged with petty hooliganism and handed fines of 75 lats (106 euros) each.
Riga has in the past experienced problems with mainly British tourists urinating on its iconic Freedom Monument, leading to public pressure for more police patrols and stiffer punishments for offenders. The large wooden horse is a permanent fixture in the Latvian capital and stands outside a jewellery shop beside St Peter's church.
The arrest of the four naked men took place close to the spot at which the mayor of the Latvian capital turned on the lights of the city's Christmas tree a few hours earlier. Riga claims it is the site of the first recorded decorated Christmas tree and this year is celebrating 500 years of the tradition.