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UK pulls Nan Goldin child photo at show
Rocker says he's owner of seized photo
27 minutes ago
Elton John said Wednesday that he owns a photo of two naked girls taken by award-winning photographer Nan Goldin that was seized by police at a British gallery over concerns it amounted to child pornography.
John confirmed ownership of "Klara and Edda Belly-Dancing" in a statement on his Web site. He said it is among 149 images comprising Goldin's "Thanksgiving" installation.
Northumbria police said the photo was taken from the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, northeastern England. They confirmed Tuesday that an image had been taken from an exhibit "to assess whether or not an offense had been committed."
Both Goldin and the gallery have declined to comment. The gallery alerted police to Goldin's photo on the eve of an exhibition featuring her work that opened Friday.
"The photograph exists as part of the installation as a whole and has been widely published and exhibited throughout the world," the 60-year-old rocker said.
"It can be found in the monograph of Ms. Goldin's works entitled `The Devil's Playground' (Phaidon, 2003), 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."
John purchased the "Thanksgiving" installation in 1999, his statement said.
Goldin's frank and often sexually explicit work has drawn critical acclaim, as well as police attention.
In 2001, London police demanded that the Saatchi Gallery remove one of Goldin's photographs, saying it was indecent. The gallery refused, and officials later backed down, saying there was no realistic prospect of securing a conviction in the case.
UK pulls Nan Goldin child photo at show
Tue Sep 25, 3:29 PM ET
A picture taken by award-winning American photographer Nan Goldin has been pulled from a British gallery over concerns it amounted to child pornography, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The Daily Telegraph said the picture, which was seized by police, shows two young girls, one sitting with her legs wide apart. It did not say whether the girls were naked.
The BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in northern England alerted police to Goldin's photo on the eve of an exhibition featuring her work which opened Friday, the paper said.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman confirmed that an image of a child was removed from the exhibit and said it was being looked over by prosecutors "to assess whether or not an offense had been committed." She spoke anonymously in line with force policy and declined to disclose the nature of the offense police were investigating.
Goldin did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment. The BALTIC gallery, which is located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, about 280 miles north of London, also declined to speak about the incident.
The gallery's Web site advertises Goldin's exhibition, called "Thanksgiving," as running from Sept. 21 to Jan 6, 2008 and says it is from pop star Elton John's photography collection.
Goldin's frank and often sexually explicit work has drawn critical acclaim — as well as police attention.
The Washington, D.C., native has been taking pictures since the age of 15 and was widely praised for her first book, "The Ballad of Sexuality," which displayed intimate details from her own life.
Earlier this year, Goldin was awarded Sweden's Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in recognition of her contribution to the field of documentary photography.
But in 2001, London police demanded that the capital's Saatchi Gallery remove one of Goldin's photographs, saying it was indecent. The gallery refused, and officials later backed down, saying there was no realistic prospect of securing a conviction in the case.
Goldin divides her time between London, Paris and New York, according to a biography posted to her gallery's Web site. She has exhibited her work around the world.