Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Elton Joihn put through the Baltic Mill

It's a sensitive story - clearly, the picture taken from the Baltic in Gateshead has upset someone, even although it's hard to believe that if the picture had been a pornographic image of a child, that it would have been there in the first place. But we live in a strange age, where the merest hint of an inappropriate motivation will send cops rushing into galleries. And the famous owner of the artwork in question? Well, that just increases the need for careful handling of the facts, as there are some implications you'd just want to leave untouched until more facts are known.

Unless you're the Sun, of course, when you'll just go with:

Child porn cops grab Elton pic

The paper prepares its readers for a shock:
[The artist Nan] Goldin, 54, is famed for her pictures of couples having sex and young, semi-naked girls.

But then so, of course, is Deirdre's Casebook.

The paper suggests that John might be flung in the slammer:
Last night cops were probing if the withdrawn image broke the law, or whether the publishing or displaying of it did. A spokesman said: “Who owns or owned it is also part of the investigation.”

If the picture is ruled as illegal, anyone in possession could face prosecution under the 1978 Protection of Children Act.

Well, yes. In the same way that, say, if those images of page three girls dressed in school uniform were ruled illegal, anyone in possession could face prosecution.

The Sun also hints that Goldin has form:
One [of her picture] featuring naked and semi-naked girls was withdrawn from London’s Saatchi Gallery in 2001. Police investigated but no one was charged.

Except the picture wasn't withdrawn from the 2001 exhibition, and the reason why nobody was charged was, erm, because after investigating, police discovered therethere was no "propsect of securing a conviction". On account of no crime being committed.


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