Tate axes nude Brooke Shields picture after police porn probe

A provocative nude picture of a 10-year-old Brooke Shields was removed from a major exhibition following a police pornography probe.

The picture of the American actress was due to go on show today at the Tate Modern show, but bosses closed off its room after meeting officers from the Obscene Publications Unit.



Richard Prince's image of Shields shows her from the knees up, naked, oiled and wearing make-up, looking directly at the viewer.



It is hung in a room at the south London gallery with a notice on the door warning visitors they may find the image "challenging".



The rest of the show, entitled Pop Life: Art In A Material World show, remains open.



A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers from the unit met Tate staff yesterday.



He said: "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 of Shields, titled Spiritual America, was contained in a room separate to the rest of the exhibition which features images including huge sexually explicit images of penetration and works made from the pages of pornographic magazines.



Jack Bankowsky, the exhibition's co-curator, said previously he hoped the artistic interest in Spiritual America would not be overshadowed by controversy over its content.



Gallery chiefs said they sought legal advice before including the work and had given careful consideration to the work and the reaction it could provoke before including it in the exhibition.



Elsewhere, the show has a room dedicated to US artist Jeff Koons' Made In Heaven work, which includes giant sexually explicit images of him with the Italian porn star La Cicciolina.

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