We wish to express our grave concern over recent events at the University of Central England. A volume of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs has been the subject of police action and the university may be prosecuted. The implications would be extremely serious for academic freedom. While Mapplethorpe's images are controversial, we believe that his status as an artist and the academic context within which the book was being used ought to have acted as a clear guarantee of the integrity and legality of the university's position. We hope common sense will prevail and that no further action will result.
Professor JENNIFER BIRKETT
Convener, steering committee,
Standing conference of Arts and Sciences
University of BirminghamReuse content