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Council votes to remove artwork of disgraced Rolf Harris

A photo of the Rolf Harris painting hanging in the Bundaberg Entertainment Centre. Photo: Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed
A photo of the Rolf Harris painting hanging in the Bundaberg Entertainment Centre. Photo: Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed Contributed

THE Bundaberg Regional Council has voted to remove a piece of artwork from the Moncrieff Theatre that was produced by convicted pedophile entertainer Rolf Harris.

The artwork, a colourful landscape image of Ayers Rock, was a gift from Harris after he performed at the Moncrieff 22 years ago.

Mayor Mal Forman and other councillors agreed to remove the painting from where it was mounted on the wall of the bar inside the theatre.

"While the painting has been mounted on the wall behind the Donald Smith Bar at the Moncrieff for more than two decades, council feels that it is only appropriate that the artwork be taken down given what has transpired in recent weeks," he said.

The 84-year-old disgraced entertainer was convicted earlier this month of sex attacks on four victims between 1968 and 1986.

He was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in prison.

Cr Forman said the painting would be taken down and be stored with the council's art collection and would "remain in storage for some time".

"Many members of the public attended that show and remember Mr Harris creating the work afterwards," he said.

"While it had no connection or link to Mr Harris' indiscretions, and had been on display at the Moncrieff since 1992, Council felt that the right thing to do was remove the work from public display."

News of the council's decision was met with mixed reaction, with readers expressing opinions on Facebook to both remove and keep the artwork.

"Remove it and replace it with something that shows how precious our children are," Gary N Ninness wrote.

Suggestions of burning the painting instead of keeping it in storage were also popular.

But one Facebook user, Susie Sloan Brad Rowe, challenged the suggestions to burn the painting.

"Let's burn all the photos, books and videos and anything else that may get in the way of human expression, achievement and art," they wrote.

"The fact that he is a despicable criminal is now proven.

"Do we destroy all human achievement if it is created or invented by someone that has an unsavoury record? Burn and re-educate? I believe that has been done before with disastrous result."

Topics:  editors picks, moncrieff theatre, painting, rolf harris



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