Culture minister: "Sad day if we start banning art"

Flemish culture minister Sven Gatz (liberal) has taken to Twitter to enter the heated debate about a mural depicting a decapitation that has appeared on the side of house in the City of Brussels. Local officials have called for the artwork after the Italian master Caravaggio to be removed, but the culture minister says that he would regret the removal of the work by the city authorities.

It's been described as "lugubrious", but Mr Gatz insists: "The work is well meant. Let it be! Art is free. It's forbidden to forbid. Or are we going to forbid Caravaggio too?"

"The work may be disturbing. That doesn't mean it isn't good art. Removing the mural would amount to censorship and good censorship doesn't exist. We shouldn't ban everything that contains a barb."

"I do have some understanding for the reaction from the City of Brussels. I have no plans to stop them in their tracks. It's outside my brief, but art is free."