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Porn photograph in Sir Elton John's collection

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

London (ANI): Police in a child porn inquiry have seized a photograph from a controversial art collection owned by Sir Elton John. Officers from Northumbria Police took the picture away after being called in by the management of he Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Tyneside, just hours before it was due to go on display.

Though the police have called the pic potentially “obscene", they have refused to name the artist, reports the Daily Mail. The pic is from cult New York photographer Nan Goldin"s 149-frame 'Thanksgiving" collection that is owned by Sir Elton. The image features two young girls one of whom was sitting down with her legs wide apart.

Goldin, a former heroin addict, is best known for her explicit pictures of friends and lovers taken in her New York apartment. Her work has previously been at the centre of child-porn inquiries. The collection is said to document Goldin's life between 1973 and 1999.

It carries a warning that reads: "We would like to advise you that this exhibition contains some material of a sensitive nature. It may include explicit language, nudity, sexual imagery or violence." The photo is now being examined by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service to see if it breaches the 1978 Protection of Children Act.

Sir Elton's spokesman has declined to comment on the issue, and officials at the gallery have also refused to confirm or deny whether the photograph was part of the singer"s private collection. The Telegraph quoted a Northumbria police spokesman, as saying: "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."

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