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Censorship call for display art; Yoko's naked work `should not be repeated'.

Byline: CHRIS BROWN

CONTROVERSIAL artwork, such as Yoko Ono's naked pieces for the Liverpool Biennial, should be checked before being displayed in public, opposition councillors in Liverpool will demand this week.

Labour leader Joe Anderson is calling for a report to ensure that people will not be offended by such displays in the future.

Ono's work, entitled My Mummy Was Beautiful, has caused a storm of controversy since 50 banners were put up around Liverpool city centre.

The art, which features pictures of a breast and pubic hair, is on display for the popular Biennial festival and will be displayed until the end of November.

Cllr Anderson will put forward the proposal at a council meeting on Wednesday.

He said: ``We have had lots of complaints about this piece of work.

``The council has had letters in and you read in the local papers how strongly people feel about it.

``It looks to be 10 to one in support of taking them down.

``I think that the Leisure and Culture department should take a look at work that is proposed before it goes up so that offence is not caused again. I will still be asking for the posters to be taken down immediately. ''

Lewis Biggs, chief executive of Liverpool Biennial, said the proposal was not the right way forward.

He said: ``I think that it is a bad idea. It's a bad idea because committees do not make good decisions when it comes to art.

``Art is about people's personal perceptions. Of course, people will always disagree about it.

``When Michelangelo's David was moved from the studio, some people of Florence stoned it because they did not like it. If there was a committee meeting at the time, it would have never gone up.

'' Ono, 71, has shrugged off accusations that she is using shock tactics to gain attention, and is adamant there is nothing offensive about the piece.

While in the city for the launch of the Biennial, she said: ``I don't really like shocking people.

``I don't think the images a reshocking because that's the first thing you see when you are born. It's the first thing everybody always sees. ''

She has never hidden away from controversy. Her work explores the human form and parts of the body.

CAPTION(S):

Yoko Ono standing by one of the artwork posters in the city centre
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2004
Words:396
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