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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 15:17 GMT
Artist 'explodes' Big Ben
Work from Blacksmoke 5-11 by James Cauty
Friends of a 9/11 victim say they are appalled by the images
An artist has unveiled pictures of Big Ben exploding in the same way as the World Trade Centre to coincide with Guy Fawkes night.

The works by James Cauty, from Brighton, have already led to criticism from some relatives of the New York terror attack victims.

The images, on show at Brighton's artrepublic gallery, show fireballs exploding from the London landmark and are stamped with the number 5-11 to mark 5 November.

Mr Cauty said the pictures, called Blacksmoke 5-11, were intended to stress the need to fight terrorism at home as well as in foreign countries.

He said: "Terrorism exists beyond television.

Legal threat

He added: "Is fictional destruction of a familiar symbol more terrifying than genuine destruction of a real one?"

Des Turner, MP for Brighton Kemp Town, said: "Perhaps his intention is to shock, and that is an artist's right.

"I am against censorship but the images may well shock or offend the relatives of those who died in New York. They may well be upset.

"It sounds as if the pictures would be considered by some to be in poor taste."

Mr Cauty courted controversy earlier this year when he displayed prints of mock stamps showing the Queen wearing a gas mask at the time of the Iraq war.

Artrepublic, which ordered 450 of the prints, was forced to destroy them after Royal Mail threatened to sue over breach of copyright.

Gas mask Queen removed from gallery
16 Jun 03  |  Southern Counties
Row over gas masked Queen
04 Jun 03  |  Southern Counties

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