BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 18:53 GMT
Saatchi gallery will not be prosecuted
Tierney Gearon
Photographer Tierney Gearon was under fire
The gallery at the centre of a censorship row over photographs of naked children will not be prosecuted.

Police officers were called to the Saatchi Gallery in London last week after complaints about photos taken by American photographer Tierney Gearon of her own children and a second photographer Nan Goldin.

If they had asked me to take the pictures down, I really would have doubted my moral judgement as a human being

Tierney Gearon

A police report was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided on Thursday not to prosecute.

Ms Gearon told BBC Newsroom South East that the experience would "definitely affect" the way she works in the future.

She said: "I am so glad this has all been resolved.

"If they had asked me to take the pictures down, I really would have doubted my moral judgement as a human being."

A CPS spokesman said that after careful consideration there was no realistic prospect of any conviction under the Protection of Children Act 1978.


He said: "In reaching this decision, the CPS considered whether the photographs in question were indecent and the likely defence of the gallery, ie whether they had a legitimate reason for showing them."

Ms Gearon said her images had "wholesome innocent intentions".

Charles Saatchi
The photographs are part of Charles Saatchi's private collection
She added: "I felt that because someone put a seed out there that my work was pornographic or obscene I felt they had poisoned my work.

"My children are such a huge part of my life and that's what I documented."

Ms Gearon's photos show her children in a variety of locations, often naked or semi-naked.

A spokesman for the gallery said staff at the gallery were delighted by the CPS's decision.

"Everyone at the Saatchi Gallery is very relieved as are all the artists in the show," the spokeswoman said.

"It's been a very worrying time for the two artists involved and their families.

"We are extremely grateful to the public and press who have supported the artists and the gallery."

The gallery is owned by the art collector Charles Saatchi, who has become a champion of modern art in Britain, and the photographs are part of Mr Saatchi's private collection.

Culture Secretary Chris Smith last week warned of the dangers of censorship while not commenting on the pictures directly.

The photographs will remain on show until the end of the exhibition on 15 April.

Photographer Tierney Gearon
"Photographs should be something that each person has their own induvidual opinion on"
See also:

12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Controversial photos stay put
11 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Smith warns against art censorship
20 Jun 00 | Business
Saatchi falls to Publicis
03 Apr 00 | UK
Art Hirst and foremost
08 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Saatchi sells off kitchen sink
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories