Pornography probe over art gallery exhibit

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Police have seized an exhibit from a flagship art gallery amid fears it could breach pornography laws.

Thought to be an image of a child, it was seized shortly before it was due to go on display at the multi-million pound Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art which stands on a plush quayside development on the banks of the River Tyne.

The image will now be examined by both Northumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether it is legal.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said they were alerted to the image by the centre's management team last Thursday, the day before a number of new exhibitions were due to be unveiled at the gallery.

A force spokeswoman said: "We attended the Baltic last Thursday at the invitation of management who were seeking advice about an item from 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 artist's name has not been released and management at the Baltic have declined to comment.

The £46 million Baltic, on Gateshead's Quayside, opened in 2002 and has since attracted 2.5 million visitors.