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Feminists disappointed as topless model returns to Page 3 of Rupert Murdoch's The Sun paper

LONDON – So was The Sun’s newfound modesty all a coverup?

A topless model appeared on the British tabloid’s third page on Thursday, after an absence of several days sparked reports that the controversial feature had been dropped.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid has featured topless models on its third page for almost 45 years, but since last week they had been replaced by models wearing bras or bikinis.

The Murdoch-owned Times newspaper reported that top Sun executives had quietly dropped the feature. Feminists and government ministers welcomed the apparent news.

But on Thursday The Sun featured a winking topless model and a caption clarifying that “this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.”

The newspaper hasn’t commented on whether Page 3 has returned permanently.