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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 19:55 GMT 20:55 UK
Greek 'obscene art' trial delayed
Clergymen of the Greek Orthodox Church
The curator is charged with publicly insulting the eastern Orthodox Church
A Greek court has adjourned until early next year the trial of an art curator charged with publicly insulting the eastern Orthodox Church.

Christos Ioakimidis could be jailed for up to five years for showing a painting combining Christian and sexual imagery.

The authorities in Athens removed the work - showing an erect penis next to a Christian cross - following a complaint by a far-right party leader.

Artists and rights activists say the case threatens freedom of expression.

'Obscene'

The Athens court said it delayed the trial that was set to open on Friday because of its busy schedule, according to Reuters news agency.

Mr Ioakimidis organised a major modern art exhibition in Greece as part of a series of cultural events leading up to the summer Olympics in Athens.

The case against him stems from a painting by Belgian artist Thierry de Cordier.

It was taken down after party leader Georges Karatzaferis lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court.

He denounced the work as the most obscene, immoral and shameless painting he had ever seen.

A BBC correspondent in Athens says other activists are angry with Mr Ioakimidis for removing the painting, saying he should not have yielded to pressure to do so.

Mr Iaokimidis is charged with insulting public decency and the Church.


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