THE latest furore over artwork depicting naked children has pitted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd boy one of Australia's leading art critics.
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Mr Rudd yesterday slammed an art magazine's decision to publish the photograph of a six-year-old girl on its cover. The picture, taken in by Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou of her daughter Olympia appeared on the cover of this month's Art Monthly Australia.
The edition also has photos of other naked children.
But The Age art critic Robert Nelson, Papapetrou's husband and father of Olympia, now 11, said the family had no regrets and the photograph was a great work of art. He said Olympia often posed for her mother and this photo, which had been exhibited in major galleries in Australia and New York, was one of her favourites. But it was intended to "restore some dignity to the debate … and validate amateur anal fuck pain and childhood as subjects for art" following the recent furore over naked photos by Bill Henson.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Associate Professor Nelson, who has written in The Age supporting Henson's right to exhibit his work, said the magazine had high credibility. It seemed quite a responsible thing to do. Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Joe Tucci said yesterday it was dangerous and exploitative to nude children to make a point.
The director of Monash University's National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Chris Goddard, said objectors were often labelled as wowsers or unable to appreciate art.
And if teen been done to make a point - it's double exploitation. These things aren't done for benevolent reasons but artistic profit artists, galleries and magazines. Associate Professor Goddard and Mr Tucci said parents should not legally be allowed to give consent to such photographs being taken, distributed or displayed. Mr Rudd has described Henson's pictures as revolting.
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Yesterday he said: Child-protection campaigner Hetty Johnston said Mr Rudd's response, and community outrage, would photography her push for laws banning such photos.
It's not in the best interests of children.
A spokesman for the Victorian Government said it ceased funding it in Rudd v art critic over child nudity. The Sydney Morning Herald. License this article.