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(Fwd) Mapplethorpe Censorship

> Date:    Sat, 7 Mar 1998 13:54:02 +0000
> From:    Boylan P <P.Boylan@xxxxxxxxxx>
> There is further news today on the threat by the West Midlands police
> against the Library of the University of Central England in Birmingham and
> the publishers Jonathan Cape/Random House over the book on Robert
> Mapplethorpe's photography.
> The Director of Public Prosecutions (head of the national Crown Prosecution
> Service) is reported to have "advised" the police that they have grounds
> both to ask the University Library to destroy their copy of the
> Mapplethorpe book and to "instruct" Cape/Random House to pulp all remaining
> copies.
> If either or both refuse then both the organisations and individual
> officials of these face criminal prosecution under the Obscene Publications
> Act, [for which the penalites can include imprisonment in addition to
> unlimited fines].  Despite the institutional and personal risks arising
> from these serious threats, both the University and the publishers are
> refusing to comply, ("The Independent", 7 March, p.18).
> A number of people have mailed me individually for details of those
> involved in this gross assault on academic freedom with a view to writing
> letters of support or protest.
> The key figures are:
> University of Central England (Vice-Chancellor [= Principal]: Dr P. C.
> Knight),  Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU, England.
> Jonathan Cape (Publishing Director: Dan Franklin): Random House, 20
> Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA.
> West Midlands Constabulary (Chief Constable: Mr. E. Crew): Colmore Circus,
> Queensway, Birmingham B4 6NQ.

I seem to remember that there was a posting on this subject at the
beginning of last week. Today I received this update via another
discussion list. Another message that came through advises
that there is a site devoted to the issue on the University of
Central England's website. It gives more detail about the case and
has a section to which you can contribute with your letters of
outrage (or otherwise, I presume..) It can be found at:


And now, after this short diversion, I hand you back to the
discussion of artists' books and the endless definitions thereof : )

Louisa Coles
Research Assistant
School of Information and Media
The Robert Gordon University
352 King Street
AB24 5BN

Telephone: 01224 262960
Fax: 01224 262969
e-mail: l.coles@xxxxxxxxx

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