Photographer Bill Henson and the Sydney gallery which displayed his controversial pictures of naked children last month will not be prosecuted after police accepted there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
Police today said they made the decision following advice from NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery.
Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn said the matter was a "complex area of law'' but police were obliged to launch their investigation after complaints from the public.
She said police had only received three complaints but "we would respond if there was one complaint from the public''.
She later conceded that the level of response might differ if only one complaint was received.
As well as that -
Henson photo not porn, says censor
June 6, 2008
IT'S official. The picture of the naked girl that sparked the Bill Henson fuss is not pornography.
The sight of her on an invitation to the photographer's Sydney exhibition two weeks ago provoked shock and outrage, but the Classifications Board has now declared the picture "mild" and safe for many children.
So, was this storm in a teacup territory? Be easy to so say. Seems that there are some who just can not let it go -
Ms Johnston warned her child protection organisation, Bravehearts, would now be lobbying for legislative change. "It's an absolute disgrace," she said. "I think we've become the laughing stock around the globe."
Hmm, I wonder why?
But the politicians were sticking to their guns.
The Premier, Morris Iemma, told the Herald: "The police deserve our thanks for their investigate work. My personal opinion remains clear - these photographs crossed the line and were inappropriate. I can't understand how a parent could allow a child to be photographed in this way." The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, also continued to condemn the work. "I said what my views are as a parent. I don't budge from that. But I'm not about to go around and start dictating to the legal authorities what they should or should not do."
Well, there is nothing better than a bandwagon for a politician to jump on. Three votes in the bag for both Iemma and Rudd. Seems to me that the whole thing was a no-brainer.
Don't like the tv programme? Turn it off. There is the button.
Don't like the art? Don't go look.
Having said all that, and using the Liebowitz Vanity Fair cover as a guide, it is an area of art that does need to be monitored. The outcome in the Sydney instance might have been a no-brainer. The outcome of the three complaints is summed up in that last link -
Viewing is by appointment only.
I wonder why that is?
As a postscript, I think that this image is as pornographic as the Liebowitz -