A naked photo of Hollywood actress Brooke Shields – taken when she was aged just ten – is set to go on display at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
The image is a photo of a photo taken in 1975 and features the actress nude from the knees upwards and wearing make up.
The decision to display the image at a taxpayer-funded exhibition has been slammed by children’s groups as a “magnet for paedophiles”.
It hangs in a separate room from other parts of the exhibition and a warning is posted that some visitors may find it “challenging”.
In 1981, Miss Shields lost a court battle to get back the negatives of the image. The original was taken by Garry Gross, a US photographer, in 1975.
It was commissioned by Miss Shields’ mother, who was intent on turning her little girl into a child star. Brooke Shields’ first starring role, aged 12, saw her play a child prostitute in Louise Malle’s Pretty Baby.
Tate Modern consulted lawyers before including it in the exhibition, entitled Pop Life: Art in a Material World.
A spokesman said: “Tate has taken measures to inform visitors of the nature of the work, providing information outlining the intentions of the artist.”
But the children’s charity Kidscape said the picture was “bordering on child pornography. It is certainly not art”.
Kidscape’s founder, Michele Elliott continued: “If you are using a picture of a naked child to bring people to your exhibition, then you are exploiting that child.
“It’s as if they are using a 10-year-old girl for bait. I find it disturbing and they should be ashamed of themselves.
“And putting the picture in a room with a warning outside really is a magnet for paedophiles.”
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “I think that any parent of young girls would just be so shocked to hear that a tax-payer funded gallery thinks it is alright to show photographs of a nude ten-year-old in the middle of a pornography exhibition.
“How far do things have to go before we eventually say enough is enough?”
He continued: “They took legal advice to see what they could get away with. Why didn’t they take advice from ordinary parents and the public as to what’s appropriate?”