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Obscene Publications Act 1959

Hello , I need an outline for the following Question.

Answer the following problem based on R v Gibson [1991] 1 All ER 439. You need rely only on this case and the statutory provisions in it; it is not required or necessary that you do any other reading.

The British Museum has put on display a classical vase from Ancient Greece. The vase has recently been excavated and has been purchased by the Museum using funds provided by the Culture Ministry as well as donations from the public. However, when the vase was put on display, the museum received a number of complaints. These complaints were caused by the fact that the vase depicted scenes of both heterosexual and homosexual sex. The museum is concerned about the legal implications of the display of the vase. Advise the museum as to whether the vase might be considered in law to be obscene and, if so, whether they can rely on the defence contained in s.4 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959.


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Please note that since the classical vase that has been put on display is from ancient Greece, the British Museum can claim that the exhibition of the vase is for the public good on the ground that it is in the interests of art and learning. In this manner the British Museum can get protection under Obscene Publications Act 1959, Ch. 66, s. 4 (Eng.). Also please note that the fact that the museum has received a number of complaints means that the members of the public have found this vase to be 'obscene' and that the Museum can be sued for committing an offense under the Obscene Publications Act. That the purchase of the vase has been done with funds provided by the Cultural Ministry as well as ...