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Police confiscate Mapplethorpe book

Police confiscate Mapplethorpe book
By David Walmsley

POLICE have confiscated a book of pictures by the photographer Robert
Mapplethorpe from a university library and asked for permission to
destroy it on the grounds of obscenity. Officers from the West
Midlands force raided the home of a final year fine art student at the
University of Central England, Birmingham, who had taken photographs
of the book to be developed for use in a thesis titled Fine Art Versus
Pornography. Dr Peter Knight, the vice-chancellor of the University of
Central England, confirmed last night that the university faced
possible prosecution for lending the book to its students. He said the
university would not voluntarily comply if an order was made to
destroy the book. Dr Knight said: "Mapplethorpe photographed quite a
range of subjects and there is no doubt that some of his photographs
are unusual, concentrating on male genitalia and homosexual love, but
in over 30 years I have never come across a case where an academic
book has caused this sort of problem. "I lose library books
occasionally when students nick them but this is the first time that I
have lost one to the police." Dr Knight said the university had now
bought another edition of the book from a branch of Waterstone's at a
cost of =A375.

(Daily Telegraph London)


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