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Gay-Themed Schwarzenegger Auction Halted
October 05, 2003
Artist Jack Fritscher wanted to "start a dialogue" with fellow Californians about actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's' views on gay rights, censorship and government funding of art, so he gathered nine items from his extensive pop culture collection and auctioned them on eBay.
The 64-year-old author of erotic fiction and San Francisco gay history launched his "Schwarzenegger Shrine" in late September with an opening bid of $24,000. The menagerie dedicated to the front-runner in California's Oct. 7 recall election included a postcard of Schwarzenegger's torso that was photographed and signed by the late Robert Mapplethorpe. The controversial photographer used the postcard to invite friends to a "Hot Dirty Man" party in New York in 1979.
More than 61,000 people visited Fritscher's auction. But on Thursday afternoon, with two days left in the bidding, eBay shuttered the site and took away all references to it in its search engines. The San Jose-based auction giant still hasn't offered Fritscher any explanation.
"It was taken down because it's gay themed, period," Fritscher said Friday. "It's censorship of what's gay. There's no nudity or politics here. There might be a political question asked, but it's only because the piece for sale is curious and I was trying to distinguish it from the other Schwarzenegger items for sale." From SFGate
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