Art And Law

Just as censorship and the creation of art viewed as obscene exist today, it existed in the past. Some felt it was necessary to prevent the viewing of obscene art because even thought it had artistic value, the obscene content exceeded the artistic value. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the king of Naples initiated an excavation of the ancient city of Pompeii, Rome. In 1748, the first intact fresco and a skeleton were discovered and it became clear that this was a remarkable archaeological site, unlike any previously unearthed remains of the ancient world (Douzinas and Nead 203).

Among these amazing finds were sexually explicit objects. Though the king wanted to put the finds on display he feared that they might have a dangerous influence on those who saw them. The decision makers of the time thought that some viewers such as women, children and uneducated lower class people would not know how to view the pieces. The pieces were put in a separate room where they were guarded and only people with permission from the king could enter. The room became known as the "Cabinet of Obscene ObjectsaE and in 1860 it was renamed the "Pornographic Coll



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