Classification board to hear submissions on The Spear

2012-05-22 13:02

City Press and the Goodman Gallery will tonight make submissions to the Film and Publication Board (FPB) why Brett Murray’s painting The Spear should not be classified as pornography.

The FPB announced this afternoon that it has “acceded” to a request by City Press and the gallery to be heard before the body rules on whether the painting should be classified or not.

If the painting is classified as pornography by the board, it may only be exhibited in adult shops and the image of the painting would have to be removed from the City Press website.

The FPB yesterday “deployed a team of five classifiers to view and classify the much publicised ‘The Spear’ artwork by Brett Murray”.

The painting was defaced by two men this afternoon, who are currently in custody at the Rosebank police station.

The FPB says: “The above visit and consideration was made in light of complaints received from members of the public via written correspondence, telephone and social media.

“The classifiers are engaged in a process to determine the appropriate classification for the artwork in line with the Film and Publications Act and Section 1 of this Act which includes paintings in the definition of publications covered under the Act.

“A classification decision has at this stage not been reached.”

After being made aware of the inspection to the gallery through media reports, lawyers representing City Press and the Goodman Gallery wrote to the FPB, requesting an opportunity to make representations to the board.

The board will hear these representations at its office at 6pm tonight.

“The Film and Publication Board encourages public engagement and participation and it is in this context that the above requests have been agreed to.

“Once the representations have been made and the Classification Committee dealing with this matter has finalised its deliberations, the outcomes will be made public,” a statement by the FPB reads.

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