The Metropolitan Museum of Art (also referred to as ‘The Met’) in New York is refusing to remove a painting of a young girl, after it was petitioned by 8,000 members of the public to take it down.
The 1938 painting, called Therese Dreaming by French artist Balthasar Klossowski, shows a young girl leaning back on a chair with one of her legs raised so her underwear is visible.
“Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticising voyeurism and the objectification of children,” the online petition started by Mia Merrill reads, as reported by The New York Times.
Merrill said she is not trying to promote censorship, but that the image is “blatant objectification and sexualisation of a child”.
Chief Communications Officer at The Met, Ken Weine, told The New York Times the museum will not remove the painting.
"Monuments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discuss and respect for creative expression."