Spear ruling expected soon

2012-09-19 22:16
(File, City Press)

(File, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The ruling on the classification of The Spear artwork may be expected in two or three weeks, the lawyers representing the Goodman Gallery said on Wednesday.

Webber Wentzel's Greg Palmer in a statement: "The chairperson indicated that, provided the panel is ad idem (in agreement) on the outcome of the appeal, a ruling may be expected within two to three weeks."

The Films and Publications Board (FPB) appeal tribunal heard Goodman Gallery's appeal on the classification of artwork on Monday.

Palmer said that oral representations were made to the tribunal by both the board and the gallery. It was chaired by University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Karthy Govender.

The FPB classified The Spear with a rating of 16N in July, meaning children under the age of 16 should not have access to the painting because it displays nudity.

The gallery's lawyers contend the classification of the artwork was "impermissible and unsustainable".

The Spear, painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray, depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The FPB ruled that its classification committee had the necessary jurisdiction to classify the painting even though it had since been defaced.

The lawyers argued that the FPB had no jurisdiction to classify an original artwork that had been defaced and removed from public exhibition.

But the board said the committee took into account questions of sensitive adults and broader issues of dignity in classifying the artwork.

The board said the rating was appropriate because the artwork was likely to be disturbing, or harmful, or age-inappropriate for children.

The gallery regarded the appeal as one of crucial importance to freedom of artistic expression.



- SAPA

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  brett murray  |  johannesburg  |  zuma painting  |  media
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