Art’s proper place

Is David obscene, asks Alison Panell (Opinion, September 26). As one who has opposed the Verity statue on the grounds it is obscene, I have no hesitation in saying “yes”.

If a man wandered naked along the harbour, shocked observers would call the police. The man would be arrested and could end up in jail or a mental ward.

The same would happen if a young pregnant woman did the same.

The debate is muddled by the definition of art. Tracey Emin’s bed is art because Emin said it is. No doubt the pickled shark and Verity are artworks because Damien Hirst, an “artist”, has made them.

My opinion is that, like ultra-modern classical music, they are confidence tricks, promoted by “experts” who don’t want to look foolish if public opinion should one day decide they really are art (it happens!).

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The Page 3 girls on my bedroom wall raised snorts of derision at the planning meeting from young women supporting Verity, who then had some giggles at my expense on Streetlife.

To my mind that displays muddled thinking. Pictures of semi-naked women on my bedroom wall where only I can see them engender scorn; a statue of a fully naked pregnant woman in a public place is regarded as acceptable. It’s nonsense!

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Verity is obscene, and should not be displayed on Ilfracombe Quay. If Damien Hirst wanted to display it in the turbine hall at Tate Modern, I wouldn’t object. Art galleries are the places to see “art”.

Would all those who are happy to have Verity on the quay be happy if I displayed my Page 3 girl calendars along the quay?

Tony Olsson


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