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Burka Barbie, a doll for the modern age

Barbie has always been best-known for her revealing costumes and impossibly pneumatic figure. For her 50th birthday, though, the queen of the toy shop has apparently decided it's time to take a more modest approach. A new exhibition of the globally popular doll has her appearing in a traditional burka.

The look, which will come as a surprise to those who remember previous incarnations as an air stewardess and a French maid, is part of a Mattel-backed anniversary celebration of dolls in multicultural outfits created by the Italian designer Eliana Lorena.

"This is really important for girls, wherever they are from," Ms Lorena said. "They should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them."