Police visit gallery over Beckham crucifixion artwork
Officers visited a Folkestone art gallery where a 7ft high
painting of David Beckham on the cross is being
Two police community support officers called at John Cotter’s
gallery in Rendezvous Street on Sunday to say they had had a
complaint that the picture was offensive.
“I was surprised that the police had acted on just one
complaint,” said Mr Cotter, who did the picture of Beckham himself
and installed it just before Christmas.
“This is a piece of art. If there had been thousands of
complaints like with Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand I could have
Mr Cotter later got a call from the police saying they no longer
deemed the picture offensive.
But once word of the police visit spread, Mr Cotter’s Facebook
page was deluged with messages of support and talk of a campaign to
keep the picture.
“I am relieved this has now rather petered out,” said Mr
“The picture has become a bit of a local landmark and we have
had people stopping to take photographs of it.”
The Beckham is called Let Me Listen to Me and Not to Them and
was done by Mr Cotter to illustrate the dilemmas between lifestyle
and life goals.
He was inspired after hearing that more people knew of the
footballer than Jesus. The original art work was sold to Boy
The painting will come down later this week as Mr Cotter wants
to use the space to publicise his Inferential Grin fringe festival
to this summer’s Folkestone Triennial.
Police spokesman Jon Green said: “We went there to investigate
because we had received one complaint from someone who found the
“We spoke to the gallery owner but did not order him to remove the
“He told the officers it was coming down anyway.
“We can understand why some people might find it offensive but
no offences have been committed and police action is not
uE06E Russian link to fringe festival – page 12
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