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Facebook is ‘going back to the 1950s’ by banning lesbian painting

Josh Jackman March 2, 2017
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Facebook has banned a painting of lesbians lovers by an acclaimed artist.

A nipple, naked bottom and the shading of the women’s nether regions are on show in Women Lovers, by Australian artist Charles Blackman OBE.

Auction house Mossgreen saw Facebook bar the oil work, which the 88-year-old Blackman painted in the 1980s, from its site for “advertising adult products or services”.

Mossgreen’s chief executive, Paul Summer, called the decision “ridiculous” and denied the painting was inappropriate.

“This is a very beautiful image that is not overtly sexual in any shape or form,” he told the BBC.

“It’s like going back to the 1950s. It’s ridiculous to censor this sort of thing.”

Despite Facebook’s ruling, Mossgreen has since posted numerous photos to its Facebook page which contain the offending image.

The social media site defended its decision, telling the BBC: “Such ads lead to negative user sentiment and we have zero tolerance towards such advertisements.”

Facebook faced criticism last week after it featured adverts targeting users who had liked pages or groups related to “gay pride” which pushed them to attempt to “cure” their homosexuality. The adverts were subsequently withdrawn.

Summer said he expected Women Lovers to be auctioned off for more than £28,000 next week, adding: “Nobody said a single thing until Facebook suddenly decided it was going to offend somebody.

“I don’t know who they’re protecting because I have two teenage daughters myself and if I said to them that this painting has been banned I think they would have laughed at me.

“Charles Blackman is the most well-regarded and respected living Australian artist,” Summer said.

Last year, Blackman’s painting The Game of Chess was sold at auction in Australia for £1.1m.

Related topics: art, Australia, Facebook, lesbians, painting

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