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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Cathedral fury over topless model
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.com
The cathedral is used as the backdrop for the image
A webpage photograph featuring a topless model being "crucified" outside Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral has been criticised.

The image, promoting a range of designer t-shirts, has been condemned as tasteless and even blasphemous.

It shows a naked model on a cross with the cathedral as a backdrop. All she is wearing is a small cloth with the company's name on it.

Cathedral dean Monsignor Peter Cookson said: "It's bad taste."

Monsignor Cookson added it was blasphemous to Christians.

"I'm upset that anybody should be using a distasteful picture like this, with our cathedral in the background, to sell their products," he added.

"The boundaries of what's acceptable to use to sell goods has drawn back, but I have never seen anything as outrageous as this, certainly not something which uses our building."

He was also backed by Church of England canon Anthony Hawley, who told a newspaper the firm was using a "shameless marketing ploy".

'Cheeky, risqué'

The firm which is using the picture, bdbx, was set up recently by 20-year-old fashion designer, and ex-apprentice footballer Alec Stacey.

A company spokesman told BBC News Online there was no intention to offend anyone with the picture, which he said would only be used on the website and would not appear on any other promotional literature.

"bdbx sells clothing aimed at young people and wants to represent youth culture," he said.

"We want to be cheeky, risqué, humorous and naughty.

"The image used on the website is meant to reflect that, and we have had no complaints from anyone who has visited the site."

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