Huffpost Arts

Police Force Gallery To Remove Leda And The Swan Image For 'Condoning Bestiality'

Posted: Updated:


A Fool For Love by Derrick Santini: promoting bestiality?

An art gallery in London was forced to remove a photograph of a naked woman and a swan after a passing police officer said it ‘condoned bestiality’.

The image – a depiction of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan – was hanging in the window of The Scream gallery in Mayfair where it had featured for a month without receiving any complaints.

But a particularly sensitive member of the Met was left spitting feathers after he spotted Derrick Santini’s photograph from a bus window, and promptly ordered the gallery to take it down.

The gallery's sales director Jag Mehta told the Telegraph: “It’s crazy. Perhaps the cultural references were lost on them.”

“They stood there and didn’t leave until we took the piece down.”

Santini himself, at least, is refusing to take the matter too seriously

"I guess it's basically funny - the police reaction and shows a distinct lack of culture in the force" he told HuffPost.


Leda and the Swan in a more classical form, by sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati

The Greek myth, in which god Zeus assumes the form of a swan in order to seduce or rape Leda, has inspired many artists throughout history, and was particularly popular during the Italian Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci made at least two attempts to interpret the story, making plans for a 1504 painting that never materialised and, four years later, painting a different composition of the scene altogether that was later lost.

Also lost is Michelangelo’s painting of Leda and the Swan that was commissioned in 1529 - a version that went on to inspire many famous engravings and sculptures.

Santini, a photographer from North Yorkshire, used a real life model and swan to create a modern take on the myth, and then went a step further by turning it into a lenticular image that moves when you walk past it...

At least one policemen seems to wish his version would get lost, too.

What do you think?

Quick Poll

Is Derrick Santini's 'Leda and the Swan' condoning bestiality?

VOTE