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Friday, January 9, 1998 Published at 19:38 GMT



UK

Small town embraces the Kiss
image: [ No longer too erotic for Lewes ]
No longer too erotic for Lewes

Who said you can't get a second chance at love?

The town of Lewes, East Sussex, is getting its second chance to possess one of the most famous statues in the Tate Gallery, Rodin's The Kiss.

The statue will be on display in the town for the first time in more than 80 years after it was rejected because of its "pagan sexuality".


[ image: An American art lover commissioned the work]
An American art lover commissioned the work
The Kiss was commissioned in 1900 by homosexual American art lover EH Warren and his companion John Marshall, who were living in Lewes.

In 1914, it left Lewes House to go on public display at the town hall.

But with the advent of the World War I, the town hall became home not only to the four-and-a-half ton statue, but also to British soldiers.


[ image: The statue once resided in the Lewes town hall]
The statue once resided in the Lewes town hall
"At night, you had 160 soldiers sleeping _ with this rather erotic statue in the corner of the room," said John May of the Lewes Rodin Project. "This was thought not to be a good thing."

A local headmistress led a campaign to have the statue removed.

Today her successors are glad to have the statue back. And they are sure that nobody will be offended now.

Lewes Rodin exposition will be part of the town's millennium exhibition, on show for the next six months.






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