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December 03, 2014

Jacksonville Won't Rescind Museum's Grant Over Nude Photo

The mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., said Tuesday that the city will not withdraw $230,000 in taxpayer funds allocated to a museum that has drawn City Council complaints for displaying a photograph of a nude pregnant woman, The Florida Times-Union and Reuters write. Council President Clay Yarborough had called on Mayor Alvin Brown to rescind the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville grant to the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville over what Mr. Yarborough termed a pornographic work.

The mayor cited a legal opinion by the city's general counsel that pulling the funds would violate the museum's First Amendment rights and said he did not consider the photo, which depicts a heavily pregnant woman reclining on a couch, to be pornographic. Attendance has tripled at the museum since Mr. Yarborough and another council member complained publicly about the image, part of an exhibition of works by Connecticut-based photographer Angela Strassheim about lives in transition.