BERN, Switzerland, September 2, 2005 ( – A panel of experts has concluded that there is no reason to exclude a controversial piece of “art”– depicting the head of an unborn baby grafted onto the body of a bird – from a collection of Chinese works on display in a Swiss museum, with one legal expert claiming opposition to the piece is a matter of “taste.”

The piece was removed from the Mahjong art exhibit at the Bern Fine Art Museum after a visitor filed a complaint last month with Bern’s District Attorney. “I want to know where this baby comes from and if it was killed for this work,” said Adrien de Riedmatten.

A panel of experts comprised of philosophers, legal experts, theologians, and art historians decided August 22 that there were no ethical or legal grounds for preventing the piece from being displayed.

Swiss Press Council President, Peter Studer, a legal expert who attended the meeting, argued that under Swiss law the fetus is not a person, so exhibiting the body of a dead fetus in the grotesque manner described does not contravene any laws. “One always has to make the distinction between taste, ethics and law,” Studer claimed, according to a Swissinfo report. “The opponents of this exhibit have not made this distinction.”

Despite its acceptance in Europe, the display was never allowed in China. “This exhibit hasn’t been on display on China and wouldn’t be shown because of Chinese aesthetic standards,” said panelist Andrea Riemenschnitter, a professor from the East Asia department of Zurich University.

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