With Olympics in mind, Rio’s love hotels clean up

A hotel worker makes the bed inside the Medieval Room, where chains hang on the wall, reflected in the mirror at left, at the Shalimar Hotel, known as a love hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. With the arrival of next year’s World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympic Games to this seaside city, local officials are scrambling to bridge a chronic hotel bed shortage so severe that during a UN conference here last year, the mayor had to appeal to residents to open their apartments to visitors. The plan? Slash property taxes for love hotels, known as “motels” in Portuguese, that agree to tone down the decor and free up 90 percent of their rooms for the tsunami of visitors expected to flood the city. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — One worker strips mirrored paneling off the ceiling, as another pries up the fiberglass shell of a whirlpool bath. A third man takes a sledgehammer to a life-size statue of Venus de Milo posing topless with a swirl of plaster robes hanging from her waist.