Sunday, July 27, 2008

British decency laws put to the test

A gallery in Britain is being dragged into court over "artist" Terence Koh's statue of Christ with an erection.
A leading art gallery is being taken to court over claims that it outraged public decency by displaying a statue depicting Christ with an erection.

The sculpture was the most provocative item in an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

[ ... ]

The maximum penalty for outraging public decency is six months’ imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.
Laws such as this are stupid, stifling and should be an embarrassment to any society that claims to value free speech. At the same time, it's telling that the "artist" chose Christ as his target of ridicule, and not the prophet of a certain other Abrahamic religion. Of course, had Koh opted to depict Mohammed in such a fashion, the state wouldn't get a chance to prosecute the gallery before it went up in flames with the artist's headless body lying in the street. That's assuming, of course, that the gallery's owners had the balls to exhibit such "artwork".

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