CANBERRA - Reuters
A photograph of a nude six-year-old girl on the cover of a high-brow Australian art magazine Monday sparked an uproar after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called it �disgusting,� infuriating liberal art critics.
This month's Australian taxpayer-funded Art Monthly Australia magazine placed the photograph of the young dark-haired girl on the cover, sitting and with one nipple showing, to protest against the censorship of a recent photo exhibition featuring similarly naked children. "I can't stand this stuff," said Rudd. "We're talking about the innocence of little children here. A little child cannot answer for themselves about whether they wish to be depicted in this way," Rudd added, as officials said they would review the magazine's funding.
Magazine editor Maurice O'Riordan said he hoped the July edition of the monthly magazine would restore "dignity to the debate" about artistic depictions of children and anyone else.
The magazine cover followed confiscation by police in May of photographs of a young girl taken by artist Bill Henson and briefly on display in a Sydney art gallery.
The cover photo, which had been on public exhibition in Australia for some time, was taken in 2003 by Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou and depicted her own daughter, Olympia Nelson, now aged 11.
The Australian Childhood Foundation said parents had no ethical right to consent to nude photographs being taken of their children, as it could have a psychological impact in later years.
But Nelson and her father, art critic and professor Robert Nelson, defended the photo in a press conference outside their home in the southern city of Melbourne.
"I love the photo so much. I think that the picture my mum took of me had nothing to do with being abused, and I think nudity can be a part of art," Olympia Nelson said.