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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 12:26 GMT
Art sex exhibition bans children
Aubrey Beardsley's Cinesias Entreating Myrrhina to Coition from Lysistrata, V&A
Controversial Art Nouveau artist Aubrey Beardsley will be included
An exhibition about sex and art at one of the UK's top galleries will only admit over-18s due to the explicit material on display.

The show, Seduced: Art and Sex From Antiquity to Now, will open at the Barbican in London on 12 October.

Exhibits will include images of sex acts from JMW Turner's notebook and a sound installation featuring readings from the Kama Sutra.

Works by Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin will also be on view.

It is thought to be the first time a major gallery has excluded under-18s from an entire show.

Cast of a fig leaf, courtesy of V&A
A fig leaf was used to spare Queen Victoria's blushes
A two-foot high fig leaf, which was used to cover up a cast of Michelangelo's David to avoid offending Queen Victoria, will be a centrepiece of the exhibition.

The Queen was apparently so shocked by male nudity that the fig leaf was commissioned especially and hung on the statue with two iron hooks.

The exhibition's curators said they wanted to generate a lively debate about shifting attitudes towards explicit imagery and the difference between art and pornography.

"We are all here because of a sexual act," Marina Wallace, Martin Kemp and Joanne Bernstein said in a statement.

"The prelude, the process of seduction, the act itself and the immediate aftermath provide the focus for the exhibition."

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