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Arrest of Japan artist for distributing data of 3-D vagina model sparks protest

Published on Jul 15, 2014 5:55 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - The Japanese police have arrested a Tokyo artist on obscenity charges for distributing data that allowed recipients to make 3-D prints of her vagina, sparking protests over what supporters said was an attack on free expression.

Ms Megumi Igarashi, 42, who calls herself "Rokude Nashiko", which roughly translates as "bastard kid", had been trying to raise funds online to pay for the construction of a kayak, using a 3-D printer, modelled on the shape of her genitals.

Japan has a notoriously vibrant pornography industry that caters to a vast array of tastes. But obscenity laws still forbid the depiction of actual genitalia, which usually appear censored or pixellated in images and videos.

The artist - who has created other genital-inspired artworks - was arrested on Saturday for "distributing data that could create an obscene shape through a 3D printer," a police spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.

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