A photograph by a controversial American artist which is part of Sir Elton John’s private collection has been seized by police from a gallery on suspicion it may have breached child pornography laws.
The image, which featured two young girls one of whom was sitting down with her legs wide apart, was taken by the renowned photographer Nan Goldin.
The shot, from the artist’s Thanksgiving series, was to be exhibited at the Baltic Modern Art gallery, Tyneside, this week along with some of her other work. But the day before it was due to be viewed by the public, police came and removed the image over fears that it might be breaking the law.
It is thought that one of the assistant directors at the centre called in the authorities last Thursday after a private view as he was concerned that the picture could be offensive.
A Northumbria police spokesman said yesterday: “The circumstances around who may have been involved in the production of the image and who may have owned it or owns it forms part of the investigation. We attended the Baltic Centre last Thursday at the invitation of the management who were seeking advice about an item for an exhibition prior to it going on public display. This item is being assessed and Northumbria Police, in consultation with the CPS, is investigating the circumstances surrounding it. The incident is ongoing and investigations are now being carried out.”
Investigators are apparently still stuck on one major detail: But is it art?