Gallery bosses have refused to confirm whether a photograph police seized from an exhibition amid child pornography fears belongs to Sir Elton John, as has been reported.rnrnPicture: Courtesy of Nan GoldinrnNorthumbria Police have removed one photograph from an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. This picture, captured by photographer Nan Goldin, is among the images which are not under investigation. It is from a collection owned by Sir Elton John.

Gallery bosses have refused to confirm whether a photograph police seized from an exhibition amid child pornography fears belongs to Sir Elton John, as has been reported.

Media reports have suggested that the controversial image, said to depict two naked young girls, was due to be displayed as part of an exhibition of photographs by renowned photographer Nan Goldin.

Photographs by Nan Goldin – plucked from the private collection of the music legend – are on show at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.

The gallery told Amateur Photographer magazine last month that some of the pictures had never been seen in public before.

A gallery official reportedly alerted police to the offending photograph at a private view, a day before the exhibition was due to be opened to the public on 21 September.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police told us: ‘We attended the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, last Thursday, at the invitation of the management who were seeking advice about an item from an exhibition, prior to it going on public display.?

He added: ?This item is being assessed and Northumbria Police, in consultation with the CPS, is investigating the circumstances surrounding it.’

A gallery spokeswoman said it drew up the statement in conjunction with police but refused to confirm which exhibition the photograph formed a part.

However, the BBC News website has reported that Elton John does own the photograph in question, quoting a statement published on the Elton John?s website yesterday.

The statement ? which does not actually confirm that this is the picture in the hands of police – reads: ?The photograph entitled ?Klara and Edda belly-dancing? (1998) is one of 149 images comprising the Thanksgiving installation by renowned US photographer Nan Goldin.

?The photograph exists as part of the installation as a whole and has been widely published and exhibited throughout the world. It can be found in the monograph of Ms Goldin?s works entitled ?The Devils Playground?? has been offered for sale at Sotheby?s in New York in 2002 and 2004, and has been previously exhibited in Houston, London, Madrid, New York, Portugal, Warsaw and Zurich without any objections of which we are aware.?

The series of pictures on show, called Thanksgiving, document Nan Goldin?s life from 1973-1999.

At the time of writing, the New York-based Matthew Marks Gallery, which represents Goldin, had yet to respond to our request for comment on the matter.

Speaking last month the curator of The Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Jane Jackson, said: ‘Elton was first attracted to the directness, truth and poignancy of Nan Goldin’s photography. And her work forms a central part of Elton John’s collection.’

Elton began collecting photos in 1991 while visiting friends at a photography festival in France. It was there, it is said, that he first began to appreciate photography as an art form.

The images on display chronicle both ‘surviving relationships and the friends Goldin has lost, many to AIDS or drug addiction’, said a Baltic Centre spokeswoman last month.

The show is due to run until 6 January 2008 and entry is free.

For details call 0191 478 1810 or visit

www.balticmill.com.

All pictures: Courtesy of Nan Goldin

Northumbria Police have removed one photograph from an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. These pictures, captured by photographer Nan Goldin, are among the images which are not under investigation. They are from a collection owned by Sir Elton John.

Hotel Village, Hamburg 1992

Hotel Village, Hamburg 1992

All pictures: Courtesy of Nan Goldin

Northumbria Police have removed one photograph from an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. These pictures, captured by photographer Nan Goldin, are among the images which are not under investigation. They are from a collection owned by Sir Elton John.

Kim in Rhinestones, Paris 1991

Kim in Rhinestones, Paris 1991

Self Portrait in the Blue Bathroom 1991

Self Portrait in the Blue Bathroom 1991