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Saddam Hussein Shark:

BBC News reports:

A town in Belgium has banned an artwork of Saddam Hussein for fear that it will put off tourists and offend Muslims.

The piece, called Saddam Hussein Shark, shows the handcuffed ex-Iraqi ruler suspended in liquid and wearing nothing more than underpants. [EV: Click on the link above to see the picture.]

The mayor of Middelkerke, Michel Landuyt, said the work could "shock people", including Muslims.

He said he decided to ban Czech artist David Cerny's sculpture before the row over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. . . .

"They wanted to put this piece in a location where many children come, so that couldn't be allowed," [the mayor] told the BBC.

He added that the work was now going to be displayed in a museum in the Belgian city of Ostend.

"When you go to a museum and are prepared to see those things and there is an explanation, perhaps there is no problem. But when you come somewhere where you don't expect that, it can be a problem," he said. . . .

Bareknucklepolitics pointed to this story, seemingly to condemn it; and if the city is indeed banning the display of this work on private property, that would be quite troublesome. On the other hand, if the work was to be displayed on city property -- which would presumably involve some preferential treatment by the city, since I doubt that the city lets anyone install just any artwork on its property -- then I think the city is entitled to decide that the work is bad for tourism, or offensive to some of its citizens.

Does anyone have more details on this? Was the "ban" simply a refusal to host the work on city property, or a city-imposed prohibition on its display even on private property?

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