The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead is facing a private prosecution after it exhibited a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.

In May the police declined to take any action against the arts centre over the statue.

Lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, 40, from London, say that an “act of a lewd and disgusting nature” was committed that “outraged public decency contrary to Common Law,” reports religious think-tank Ekklesia.

Her case will resume at Gateshead Magistrates Court on September 23rd.

The exhibition featured 74 plaster models, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

The gallery placed a sign outside the exhibition, warning visitors of the explicit nature of the artworks.

Koh, 30, was born in Beijing but grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He later moved to New York and call himself the ‘Asian Punk Boy’.

Most of his artwork tends to focus on the concepts of ‘punk’ and sexuality.

The exhibition, which closed in January, also included works by Turner Prize-nominated artists such as Tracey Emin and Mark Titcher.

Ms Mapfuwa’s case comes after the House of Commons voted earlier this year to strike down the UK’s blasphemy laws.

She is supported by controversial preacher Stephen Green, who regularly protests outside Pride events.

Mr Green faces bankruptcy after he was ordered to pay £90,000 in court fees when his attempt to bring a private prosecution against Jonathan Thoday of production company Avalon and the BBC’s Mark Thompson, for screening the acclaimed Jerry Springer: The Opera, failed last December.