Connecticut town hall paintings removed after deemed to risque - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Connecticut town hall paintings removed after deemed to risque

(NBC) – Many of the nude paintings hanging in the hallway of Milford, Connecticut's government building have been there for decades, but now the controversial debate begins on whether they are art or smut.

It all started with a Roger Van Damme nude painting that went up at the end of February and came down the next day. Van Damme was an award-winning artist and much-loved teacher at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.

"Maybe it was in a place where the wrong person saw it and that triggered a phone call, and all it takes is one sometimes," Tom Ivers, Milford's Community Development Grant Coordinator, said.

The complaint came from a city employee who felt the fine art had finally crossed the line. In response, the city also removed several other nude paintings that had been displayed in the Parsons Complex for more than 30 years.

One of those nudes in question was painted by Bill Meddick, executive director the Milford Fine Arts Council, who said he's surprised by the sudden criticism.

"I thought it was odd they'd take down the other nudes. Why is it an issue all of a sudden? Normally it would bother me, but I'll take them back to where I work at the Art Center," Meddick said.

City officials said the plans to display more of the late Van Damme's work, but you won't find any more nudes.

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