Art Exhibit Owned By Sir Elton John Examined

Sir Elton John owns a photograph seized from a Tyneside art gallery in a child pornography investigation, it has emerged.

The photograph - 'Klara and Edda belly-dancing' by Nan Goldin - was seized by Northumbria Police from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead last Thursday, amid fears that it breached child pornography laws.

The photograph is one of 149 images, which make up the 'Thanksgiving' installation by US photographer Goldin.

A statement published on Sir Elton's web-site confirmed that he purchased the installation from the White Cube gallery in London in 1999 and had loaned it to the Baltic centre for a display which opened last Friday, without the photograph which was seized.

The statement said: "The photograph exists as part of the installation as a whole and has been widely published and exhibited throughout the world. It can be found in the monograph of Ms Goldin's works entitled "The Devil's Playground", has been offered for sale at Sotheby's New York in 2002 and 2004, and has previously been exhibited in Houston, London, Madrid, New York, Portugal, Warsaw and Zurich without any objections of which we are aware.

"Elton John is known as one of the world's foremost collectors of photographic art and has several thousand photographs in his collection, including works by Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus and Ansel Adams."

Goldin has not issued a comment.

The photograph is being examined by police and the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether it is legal.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said on Tuesday: "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."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 October 2007
Sir Elton's Photography Not 'Child Porn'
A photograph owned by Sir Elton John, which was seized from an art exhibition amid claims that it breached child pornography laws, has been declared as not indecent by the Crown Prosecution Service.
25 September 2007
Art Exhibit Seized In Child Porn Probe
Police are examining an art exhibit seized from a Tyneside art gallery amid fears that it breaches child pornography laws. The artwork, which is believed to be an image of a child, was seized by Northumbria Police from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead last Thursday, before it was due to go on display.
13 August 2012
Sir Elton John To Sue The Times
Sir Elton John will sue the Times newspaper for libel over the publication of articles he claims falsely accused him of tax avoidance. Two articles were published with the by-line “secrets of the tax avoiders’, I which the newspaper stated Patrick McKenna of Ingenious Media was Sir Elton's former accountant. This however was untrue.
30 April 2007
Woman indecently assaulted in 'horrific' attack
A woman has been indecently assaulted in an attack in Glasgow which police have described as "horrific". The incident happened at the woman's flat in Sauchiehall Street, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, around 5pm on Saturday. The woman was assaulted as she opened her front door.