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Government backers pull out of Marquez film over depiction of child prostitution

Last week, the debate was whether a great artist should be forgiven for his great sins.  This week the question is whether or not to allow artists to portray sin. Plans for a film version of Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s book “Memories of my Melancholy Whores” were scrapped after an NGO director said she ...

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Literature Nobel Price Colombian Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez takes part in the Chair Julio Cortazar of the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara Mexico, 23 November 2007. AFP PHOTO/Ivan Garcia (Photo credit should read IVAN GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, the debate was whether a great artist should be forgiven for his great sins. 

This week the question is whether or not to allow artists to portray sin. Plans for a film version of Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s book “Memories of my Melancholy Whores” were scrapped after an NGO director said she would sue the author and producers for attempting to justify pedophilia.The movie had financial backing from the Danish and Spanish governments, as well as the Mexican state of Puebla where it would be filmed. The movie would poetically portray child prostitution as natural “which would lead to the normalization of the phenomenon,” argued the director of The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The story, of a 90-year-old man who decides to treat himself to a 14-year-old virgin as a birthday present, does not precisely argue that this would be a healthy relationship, however, and fellow Nobel literature prize winner J.M. Coetzee finds a redemptive aspect to the novella.

But, what with Scotland Yard descending into the Tate Modern last week to urge the removal of a Richard Prince piece showing a nude 10-year-old Brooke Shields, perhaps the backlash of Polanski’s case means we can no longer explore the evils of desire, even in art. Even if he were alive then, Nabokov would have no hope of winning the Swedish prize this Thursday.

IVAN GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images

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