Page last updated at 05:01 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Muslim artist gets death threats

Sarah Maple
Sarah Maple has attracted criticism from some Muslims

A Muslim artist exhibiting her work at a west London gallery, has received death threats via email.

Staff at SaLon gallery in Notting Hill said they had received violent emails about Sarah Maple, 23, and her family.

The glass front of the gallery has also been smashed with staff receiving abusive phone calls since the start of her exhibition on 16 October.

Some sections of the Muslim community have criticised her in the past for her portrayal of her religion.

One work showed a woman in a headscarf holding a pig.

'Freedom of expression'

Gallery director Samir Ceric said he was "sad, upset and disappointed" at the way art was being treated and called the violent reaction to her work an "attack on freedom of expression".

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers were investigating the damage to the gallery's window but could not comment on the threatening email.

Some of her photographic self-portraits feature her in a headscarf in provocative and suggestive poses and one painting shows the artist in a headscarf with a bare breast.

But Mr Ceric said her work was being misrepresented and dealt with religion but also politics, celebrity culture "and so many other subjects".

"We expected people to ask questions but we didn't expect anything like this," he added.

The gallery intends to continue exhibiting the artworks by Ms Maple, who was born in Sussex, until its scheduled end on 16 November.


Sarah Maples' work has caused controversy in the past

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