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Christian lady challenges blasphemous statue

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On Tuesday 2 September at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court, lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, will commence a case against the Baltic Flour Mills Visual Arts Trust following the exhibition of an obscene statue. The statue, which was displayed between September 2007 and January 2008, depicts Jesus with an erection, and is part of an exhibition of artwork by Terence Koh, a Chinese artist.

At the time of the exhibition several people complained to the Baltic Centre after seeing the statue but the Centre’s response was to say that they had provided warnings about the potential offence the display might cause. In January 2008 Mrs Mapfuwa contacted the Christian Legal Centre and, with assistance from their lawyers, reported the statue to Northumbria Police, asking for an investigation. In May 2008 Northumbria Police concluded there was no case.

The Christian Legal Centre is continuing to support Mrs Mapfuwa as she pursues a private prosecution. She will argue that the statue of Christ outraged public decency and that people who saw it were likely to be harassed, alarmed, or distressed.

The Christian Legal Centre believes in freedom of expression but this statue served no other purpose than to offend Christians and to denigrate Christ.

Links to media reports


BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/7593386.stm


Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/03/religion.art


Evening Chronicle: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-evening-chronicle/2008/09/03/jesus-statue-lands-baltic-in-the-dock-72703-21665731/


The Journal: http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2008/09/03/row-rages-on-over-explicit-statue-at-baltic-61634-21664693/


Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1038855/First-test-decency-laws-gallery-faces-court-obscene-statue-Christ.html


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