The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and its director were acquitted Friday of obscenity charges for displaying a controversial photography exhibit organized by the University's Institute for Contemporary Art. Jurors told The Associated Press over the weekend that although they personally found some of the photographs to be lewd and distasteful, they were convinced that the photographs had artisitic value. The show, a retrospective of the works of the late Robert Mapplethorpe, included pictures of sexually explicit acts involving men and two photos of children with their genitals exposed. The exhibit was organized here last year and was displayed in the Meyerson Hall gallery last year with little controversy. The jury deliberated for two hours over the two charges: a misdemeanor of pandering obscenity and child nudity. The first jury vote was seven to one for acquittal on both charges. ICA Director Patrick Murphy said yesterday that he was ecstatic with the decision calling the verdict a landmark case for the arts community. "It was a great surprise and a great relief to hear the not-guilty verdict," Murphy said. Murphy also added yesterday that he was concerned that the jurors would decide differently since they were only asked to rule on seven photographs instead of taking the exhibit as a whole. "The confining of the trial to seven works was equivalent to only looking at two minutes of a movie or an extract from a book," Murphy said. The Associated Press and the Philadelphia Daily News contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
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