Norfolk police have been called in to deal with complaints over offensive shop window displays in Norwich for the second time in a month.

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Officers visited Sinsin’s Love Store on Charing Cross on Valentine’s Day to give “words of advice” to the owner, who removed two paintings of full-frontal male nudes from display.

The paintings, by artist Peter Kavanagh, were part of an exhibition at the shop since January 30 but two complaints from the public prompted police to intervene.

In January, a display depicting a mannequin urinating on a wall had to be taken down from a shop window at clothes shop Philip Browne in Guildhall Hill, after a single complaint to police.

Martin Price, owner of Sinsin’s, defended the paintings, saying they were not “Mickey Mouse paintings” but art in their own right.

“I understand that there’s an issue with them not giving people the choice to see them or not, but I don’t think these pieces are offensive.

“The shop has been moving towards a more mature and cultured outlook recently, and this is part of it.

“We chose a couple of male frontal nudes and put them up in the shop window to see what the reaction was.

“They’ve had a phenomenal reaction – from customers, investors, and people who have come into the shop just to appreciate the art.”

The shop had twice been visited by police in the previous week after members of the public alerted them to the paintings.

“They told me they’d had a call to alert them, just to tip them off,” said Mr Price. “But they were brilliant – really appreciative and sensitive to the situation.”

Mr Kavanagh said the complaints at the paintings were “a real shame” and reflected people’s inhibitions.

“But what’s disappointing, as always, is that the whole lot had to be cleared because of just two people.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive reactions, but the silent majority have been beaten by a few complaints. They lump it in with their own attitudes and outlook.

“We had private viewings which were very successful, so maybe we got a little carried away and thought everybody really enjoyed it.”

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received complaints from two members of the public about a painting of a male nude in a shop window display.

“As a consequence, an officer called into the shop to discuss the issue and gave words of advice to the owner.

“The shop owner agreed to move the painting away from the window and we now consider the matter closed.”

35 comments

  • If a glance at an image of a male nude as you pass a shop window really and truly upsets you, then I do feel sorry for you. If on the other hand you are trying to impose some vague moral rules of your own on all around you, then please grow up!

    Report this comment

    Naked One

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Not art as no face - the statue of David in Florence is representing David who fought Goliath. These are sexual objects and we need to get away from objectifying the human body as murderers and rapists tend not see a whole person who they violate just an object. Not too good for children either.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

  • i wonder how many complaints there would have been had it been a full frontal painting of a woman? they look pretty neat paintings :-) i would say keep it up , but maybe that could be misconstrued! hehe

    Report this comment

    Jan Quantrill

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • I object to these paintings as they depict us as simple sex objects and encourages us to develop steroetypical images of ourselves as existing solely for the purpose of being a womens' plaything.It is high time people stood up against this blatant abuse of the male body.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • PW. Have you never seen the wonderful carvings on sailing vessels? Normally depicting the female form I will agree, however the human form has been used through the ages for one reasons or another. Why all the fuus over a couple of pictures? or has Mary Whitehouse been resurected?

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • If living in a "backwater" and living in "19th century Norwich" means I can walk down the road without having some geysers "parts" thrust into my view, I am very glad to live in 19th century backwater Norwich. I'm a bit of a prude too. Three posts, one answer @(Thoreauwasright , Claire Voyant, IT Man).

    Report this comment

    expat

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Free Publicity for the shop for a second time in month - EDP you should hire the public relations expert who keeps getting free publicity in your paper, and to all the complainers here, see it for what it is A PUBLICITY STUNT

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Good luck to Martin for putting on such a fantastic display of art, and having the vision to include this celebration of the human form in his shop. I thought all of the paintings - both the male and female nudes - were excellent, and they took the emphasis in the shop from merely selling products to something much more enriching. I look forwards to seeing many more art exhibitions of this calibre at Sinsins.

    Report this comment

    Art Lover

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • There really are some prudes around these days, keep at it Martin!

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Great bit of advertising for both the artist and the shop and what's more it was free. Wasn't that exactly the reason for doing it? Come on you lot, wise up.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Unbelievable. I find it hard to understand how someone could get so upset about this, to the point of fuming all the way home, then phoning the police! There are some pathetic people about. Probably insecure homophobes.

    Report this comment

    NROO

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Mr T -"just look on the prows of some sailing vessels of yesteryear." Could you expand?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Welcome to the 19th century Norwich.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • It really is a sad state of affairs when 2 people complain about paintings of nudes appear in shop windows. Heaven forbid if they go down to any art gallery. Will they ask for these to be removed too. Stop being so prudish and waisting the policies time which such petty complaints. P.S. Why is everyone rising to the bait of the troll on here? Ignore and hopefully, they will go. Hopefully, via the A47, A140 or A11.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • People should have better things to complain about, bit of light hearted fun in these dull days. The naked form has been away of life for decades, just look on the prows of some sailing vessels of yesteryear. Stupid people should grow up, or look the other way.

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Claire Voyant, you need to get out more. Norwich is full of lap dancing and pole dancing clubs. There are also naturist clubs and nudist beaches if you know where to look. Plus if you want to ogle naked flesh , the new fangled world wide interweb will keep people like you occupied for days on end. As for NFN, I think you may be missing the point. ALL NFNs are from Norfolk, (thats what it means) Its meant as an insult, but lets not forget that people in other areas also get insulted. On my original reply to your post, the fact that a few people may have complained about these paintings is nothing to do with Norfolk, it would also have happened elsewhere. When the BBC and others get complaints from prudes , they come from all over the country, it has nothing to do with this area.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Better not go near a garden centre. My local one has a pretty copy of Michelangelo's David. And what about the Wellington Memorial in Hyde Park, London. Perhaps it should get a figleaf.

    Report this comment

    Dr Dee

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • i like a Rubens myself. pass the custard doughnuts......

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • If people object to these paintings then they had better not visit other cultural cities like Florence where male full frontal nudity is available in 3D in the form of Michaelangelo's David! This is art and art is at it's best when it causes debate - both Sinsins and Peter should be applauded for bringing yet more culture to our fine city. What a shame that it has had to be kept indoors though where passers-by cannot enjoy it.

    Report this comment

    Lourollo

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Here we go again! - prudes 1 normal people 0

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Anyone looked at the Mail today? These pictures could have been of Chloe Smith.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

  • Perhaps, if these paintings cause offence, those offended would, perhaps, be wise to look into their own thoughts to work out why they find them offensive.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • The pictures should be construed as 'Art', but as they are on display in the window at a sex store does really argue against that. Since when were sex stores interested in displaying 'Art'? As stupid as it sounds, if these were on display at a place more depicting of art then they would probably be accepted, but you do suspect that Sin Sins motive for displaying them was a bit more than just for artistic reasons, so I can understand why complaints.

    Report this comment

    Adams is God

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • In total agreement, Abraham...

    Report this comment

    Mr Bobby

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • If you don't like Norfolk, Claire Voyant, it's probably best to leave... Norfolk is a wonderful county and Norwich a fab city!

    Report this comment

    Mr Bobby

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Are these pictures for sale?!

    Report this comment

    Queenie

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • If these complainants feel so strongly about the paintings then why are their details not given in this item? The shopkeepers have now gained by such prudes with a wonderful publicity yet again which in normal press advertising would have no doubt cost several thousand pounds If these prudes were to visit Liverpool and look at the Liver Building then they would no doubt suffer from the vapours Still this is 2012 and this is Norfolk what else are we to expect from such a backwater

    Report this comment

    Claire Voyant

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • It really is a sad state of affairs when 2 people complain about paintings of nudes appear in shop windows. Heaven forbid if they go down to any art gallery. Will they ask for these to be removed too. Stop being so prudish and waisting the policies time which such petty complaints. P.S. Why is everyone rising to the bait of the troll on here? Ignore and hopefully, they will go. Hopefully, via the A47, A140 or A11.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • My wife objected because the pictures weren't exciting enough. She didn't want them taken down though. Her complaints were ignored of course.

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • wow these people that complain about a naked male form really need to get a grip, granted male and female 'bits' aren't the prettiest to look at i can think of better bits LOL!!! .... maybe we could organize a trip to the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery or the Tate or would there be far too much flesh being flashed for them to cope with??? It was a naked man for goodness sake, if we were to ask for all sights in Norwich that we find offensive to be removed from view I am sure that there would be outrage!!!! I love the fact that the Police Council insist that a naked picture is removed yet they do nothing to remove the offensive 'camp' at the Haymarket????????? P.S at least the naked men were better to look at than the puppet man........

    Report this comment

    graze69

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • I dont see why these paintings would cause offence and its a pity that they had to be removed. However I dont see why Claire Voyant subscribes the complaints to "backwater Norfolk" Surely the complaints are just a few peoples objections, not the whole population of Norfolk. I am sure that similar minority complaints wouild have been received in London or Manchester or Edinburgh or anywhere else. I actually find Clare Voyants sneering opinion of Norfolk people far more offensive than any nude painting.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • i saw the original 'david' in Florence..... its quite teeny tiny!!!! It's no David Beckham crotch!

    Report this comment

    graze69

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Phillip Browne....Sin-Sin...who will be the next victim of the Phantom Window Display Guardian !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • @Claire Voyant - re: anonymous complainers - perhaps Sin-Sins complained about their own widow display knowing it would create great publicity for their store. Just a thought......

    Report this comment

    RichardS

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

  • Peter Watson - not sure how to take your remark but if any female wants me as a plaything - !!!! (daren't say anymore, as this'll be taken down)

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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