A museum housing a skinny-dipping exhibit, in which visitors strip naked and splash around together, has been told only one bather can use it at a time.
New York health officials have ruled that Carsten Höller's 'Giant Psycho Tank', which opened at the New Museum yesterday, is too similar to a bathhouse to be allowed to continue in its current form.
The giant pool of swirling, super-salted water, which is warmed to body temperature, was intended to be the highlight of the artist's 'Experience' show, with nude users floating effortlessly next to each other.
Floater: The New Museum has been told only one naked person can use its Giant Psycho Tank exhibit, pictured with an employee inside, at any time
But without the correct permit, the Department of Health has said that the risk of infection means just one person can enter at any given point.
'The Health Department contacted administrators at the New Museum and advised them of the requirements in the Health Code and the conditions that would require approval and a permit,' John Kelly, of the DOH, told the New York Post.
'The New Museum made the decision to limit the use of the tank to one person.'
Those who were able to enjoy what the museum describes as 'a sensory deprivation pool, providing a strange out-of-body experience' before it altered its approach said they had wondered about the health risks.
'This is definitely not for a germophobe,' Charles Ritter, 74, told the New York Post upon emerging from the waters, which are set churning by jets.
'I was thinking the whole time about how many city permits they had to get to do this.'
All the museum had was a form visitors signed to confirm they did not 'have any communicable diseases or other adverse health conditions that could be transmitted by being in water with others.'
Once immersed, the jets would send naked strangers bumping into one other.
By late afternoon yesterday, museum officials had told the guard overseeing the tub to only allow one person into the water at a time, the Post reported.
Radical exhibits: The 'Experience' show at the New Museum, in New York, aims to give visitors out-of-body sensations
'As of now we're changing the policy,' deputy director John Hatfield told the paper. 'This will be a single-person experience.'
But officials are also investigating whether other parts of the exhibit, called 'radical and disorienting' by the museum, meet city regulations.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Affairs told the Post the mirrored merry-go-round and adult slide were being looked at.
Before the crackdown, museum visitors of all ages were wilfully shedding their clothes.
'It's interesting to see the body reacting in public, in ways that it doesn't normally - especially in men,' Maureen Robinson, 69, told the Post after she had emerged from the exhibit.