Man in a mask, holding a mask in hand, is seen at a public holiday

A man has been seen carrying a mask and holding a large object at a time at a celebration of the Chinese New Year in New South Wales, sparking a backlash online.

The man was seen walking into the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens on Sunday afternoon wearing a mask.

“The man appeared to be holding a black plastic bag,” NSW Police told the ABC.

It is understood the man took the bag to a location close to the park and left it there for an hour or so before he walked away with the bag, a police spokeswoman said.

“He then left the bag at a location for the public to collect, and returned on Monday morning,” police said.

NSW Police tweeted that the man was wearing a red hat, white mask, and sunglasses.

Social media users on Twitter and Facebook condemned the man for his “disrespectful” behaviour.

“This man is an ignorant and inconsiderate person,” one user wrote.

“We will not tolerate disrespect of our national holiday.

We will not allow this person to continue to harm our community.””

Be careful, there are people who are coming out with masks to celebrate the Chinese holiday,” another person posted.”

A big bag is dangerous to public safety, so be aware.”

The man who took the mask was described as a man in his late 20s, wearing a black mask, white jacket and sunglasses, police said in a statement.

“The mask is an integral part of his identity, and he has no intention of disobeying the law,” the statement read.

He is understood to be under investigation by police.

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