Christian Institute angry over nude Brooke Shields photo

Published 02 October 2009
The Christian Institute has expressed its anger with Tate Modern for including a nude picture of Hollywood actress Brooke Shields when she was 10 in a new exhibition.

The picture had been due to go on display with a warning to visitors as part of the gallery’s new Pop Life exhibition by American artist Richard Prince, which includes pornographic images.

The gallery decided to remove the picture from display after a visit from the Metropolitan Police’s obscene publications squad.

A spokesperson said: "Officers from the obscene publications unit met with staff at Tate Modern … The officers have specialist experience in this field and are keen to work with gallery management to ensure that they do not inadvertently break the law or cause any offence to their visitors."

The picture was commissioned in 1975 by the actress’s mother, who wanted Shields to become a child star, and was taken by photographer Gary Cross. Shields was unsuccessful in her court bid six years later to have the negatives returned.

The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “I think that any parent of young girls would just be so shocked to hear that a taxpayer-funded gallery thinks it is alright to show photographs of a nude ten-year-old in the middle of a pornography exhibition.

“How far do things have to go before we eventually say enough is enough?”

He continued: “They took legal advice to see what they could get away with. Why didn’t they take advice from ordinary parents and the public as to what’s appropriate?”

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