Striptease is art like opera or ballet, an Oslo court has ruled in a victory for nightclub owners over Norway's tax authorities.

"I'm very pleased. Ninety percent of the guests here tell me that what I'm doing is art," a female stripper at the Dream Go Go Bar in the city of Trondheim told NRK radio Wednesday.

The court ruled this week that striptease should be treated like other artistic stage shows, ranging from stand-up comedy to opera, for which tickets are exempt from value-added tax (VAT).

Tax authorities had demanded more than 1.0 million Norwegian crowns ($159,500) from the Blue Angel club in Oslo in unpaid VAT, arguing that strippers were not artists and so tickets to their shows were subject to VAT, normally 25 percent.

Lawyers for the Blue Angel, which contested the VAT demands, argued that undressing as nurses, police women or flamenco dancers demonstrated artistic flair. Tax authority lawyers said audiences were attracted to the shows by nudity, not art.

"Of course stripping is art," Magnus Morland, owner of the String Show Bar in Oslo, told Reuters. He said the ruling would let clubs operate with better margins and did not rule out cutting the 150 Norwegian crowns ($23.93) entry fee.

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