Visual artist cleared of all charges

Comment: A case of the Police getting it wrong – again.

art353-artist-yore-200x0About a year ago, we visited Linden Gallery in St Kilda (Melbourne). This was not long after the infamous raid by police following a very dubious complaint about the ‘sexual’ content of an artwork by Paul Yore.

The director of the centre was holding up well given the nature of the issue she was having to deal with. She deserved to have been paid a lot more for all the complex stuff that had come her way.

Paul Yore’s artwork, being a room size installation, was indeed damaged. There were crudely cut holes in several locations. The manner in which the ‘offending’ bits had been removed by the police was something very strange to behold. The story around the whole event was even stranger. Here’s how it was reported in The Age.  A Melbourne blogger reported on the incident on his blog and covered the issue quite well – click here.

Fifteen months later after a lot of people have gone through much anxiety and at a huge cost to people’s time and resources, it has just been announced that the charges have been thrown out. The artist has been fifteen months of thinking of what could happen to him if he had been found guilty.

To make the point of what she thought of the whole affair, the magistrate has ordered that the police pay all the artists’ costs in defending the case.

The whole affair has left people wondering,  just why the police acted on such a silly complaint, why they did not get more learned advice and then why did they pursue the artist with such charges given that they were based on such dubious evidence.

All that and more, may lead to the police thinking about how they handle such matters. Or is that being far too optimistic given that these sorts of events have kept recurring over the decades!

Here’s a report on the finding by the Melbourne blogger Black Mark – click here.

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Paul Costigan, 2 October 2014

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