LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Tate Modern gallery said on Thursday it had closed a room at its new blockbuster exhibition that contains a naked image of actress Brooke Shields aged 10, after police launched an investigation.
The image, taken by artist Richard Prince in 1983 from another photograph, shows the U.S. star posing nude in a bathtub wearing heavy make up. Police are considering whether the image breaches obscenity laws. “Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Obscene Publications Unit met with staff at the Tate Modern on September 30 regarding an image which was part of an exhibition due to open at the gallery on Thursday, October 1,” police said in a statement.
“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.”
Tate said the room, which contains only the Shields image, had been temporarily closed, but the rest of the show, featuring other sexually explicit work including a video of an artist having sex with a collector, would open as normal.
Curators had considered limiting access to “Pop Life: Art in a Material World” to over-18s, but decided instead to have staff in rooms containing explicit works ready to warn younger visitors.
“We’re in discussion with police at the moment,” a spokeswoman for Tate Modern said.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato