Censorship of Art

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In an act of self-censorship and under the influence of Fra Savanarolla, Sandro Botticelli destroyed many of his works in the bonfire of the vanities. Under what conditions would you censor art? Should certain subjects remain taboo? If so, which ones? Why? Who should censor? What should be the penalties for producing the art that is censored? Is there a difference in private and public art? Expand your consideration to the availability of visual images on the internet.


I believe that are, unlike certain literature and media, should rarely if ever be censored. I don't believe that something like a statue or a painting can have the effect over people that a 2000 page book can, or a powerful public speaker for instance. I don't believe that any single piece of art should ever need to be censored, and I don't believe that there are many subjects that are "taboo" anymore. Art in our society plays a much smaller role then literature and media, and even though it can have a powerful effect on its viewers, I don't believe that that effect is ever going to be powerful enough that we need to censor art. I believe that the patrons and the consumers are basically responsible for deciding for themselves rather to buy or view a piece of art, and therefore "censorship" isn't necessary because it exists within the consumer. I believe that there is very distasteful art that is intentionally distasteful and many artists attempt this just to get a rise out of people. While I think that this practice is semi-absurd and quite juvenile I don't believe that these people should be stifled by the government, we should just allow them to continue to be rejected by a society that quite probably has already rejected them anyways.

With that aside, I believe that such distasteful art, while being allowed to exist and be created, should remain in private. In this case, I do believe that a sort of censorship should exist in that something that is...
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