Robinson and McGuinness kiss 'censored'

Published Thursday, 14 August 2014
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An art gallery has been accused of unfairly censoring a painting which depicts Northern Ireland's political leaders kissing.

The image of First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness sharing a tender moment was put on display at the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh earlier this month.

It is part of the touring exhibition Images of Ulster.

The picture, called 'The Kiss', has prompted the gallery to erect a warning sign for adult content, advising visitors that some of the artwork on show depicts "violent or sexual images".

Local artist Stuart Canning feels he is being unnecessarily censored.

He said: "I wanted to portray Ulster in a wider context so I made it as a talking point for many different reasons, for people to express their views.

"It's not offensive, primarily because it is an innocent kiss.

"I haven't created anything explicit, it's certainly not pornographic, it's a kiss and my argument is that there shouldn't be a sign there full stop.

"There wouldn't be a sign there if it was a man and a woman kissing."

In a statement, Omagh District Council said Strule has a policy to inform audiences whenever a piece contains "offensive language, sexual content, violence or political/religious references".

A spokesperson continued: "Feedback from customers of Strule Arts Centre was that Patrons should be informed before attending so that they could make a judgement whether they wish to proceed.

"The sign at the entrance to the exhibition informs patrons that some artwork depicts violent or sexual images and it is left to the viewer to make his/her own decision.

"In relation to a similar sign being placed close to an image of a heterosexual act of kissing, the decision would be taken on a case by case basis in view of how the image is portrayed."

The exhibition in the Co Tyrone town runs until the end of August.

© UTV News
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16 Comments
Franco in Belfast wrote (71 days ago):
@boru, yes it is, oops
Colin in South Down wrote (71 days ago):
Yet if it was a profane picture of Jesus or the Pope, then it would be a different matter altogether.
Ady in Tyrone wrote (72 days ago):
@ Boru... Thanks for the chuckle,nice one .
Non art lover in Belfast wrote (72 days ago):
That picture looks nothing like Pete or Marty! More like Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern if you ask me...
Lauren Moreland in Belfast wrote (72 days ago):
What is so bad about those two having a wee peck . The artist has been done a favour I hope he takes full advantage of the publicity I'm of to omagh to see the rest of his work well done Stuart.
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