Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

'Indecent' Jesus action stopped

Baltic centre for contemporary art, Gateshead
The CPS said it was satisfied there was no case for Baltic to answer

An art gallery will not face any legal action over claims it displayed an indecent statue of Jesus Christ.

The artwork was part of an exhibition at Gateshead's Baltic Centre featuring several plaster figures with erections.

A private prosecution was being brought by Christian group member Emily Mapfuwa, 40, of Essex, on the grounds the statue outraged public decency.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stopped the action on Monday and said the gallery had no case to answer.

Warning signs

Nicola Reasbeck, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "The CPS has the right to take over a private prosecution and prosecute it ourselves, take it over and stop the case, or allow the private prosecution to continue.

"Having considered the evidence in this case with great care, we are satisfied that there is no case to answer.

"We have taken into account all the circumstances, including the fact that there was no public disorder relating to the exhibition and that there was a warning at the entrance to the gallery about the nature of the work on display.

"The case has therefore been discontinued."

The statue was part of Baltic's September 2007 to January 2008 exhibition by controversial Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, "Gone, Yet Still".

Mrs Mapfuwa, of Brentwood, instructed her lawyers to seek a private prosecution against the gallery for outraging public decency and causing harassment alarm and distress to the public.

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