A college was slammed yesterday after it displayed a ‘disgusting’ painting of shamed telly pervert Jimmy Savile – dressed as a knight in shining ARMOUR.
Bosses at South Staffordshire College have refused to take down the picture of Britain’s worst ever child sex beast – and defended it as ART.
They allowed the controversial piece, depicting the paedophile in an heroic pose in front of the BBC’s HQ, to hang in an art gallery at its campus in Lichfield, Staffs.
It occupies pride of place on a main wall in an exhibition of student pieces – which members of the public are free to walk in and view.
Shockingly, the sinister image is easily on display to youngsters at the college – some who are the same age as Savile’s victims.
The disturbing portrait – believed to have been painted by a student – shows smirking Savile dressed in a suit of armour with a trademark cigar hanging from his mouth.
One member of staff said tutors have refused to take down the offensive picture despite a barrage of complaints.
Cleaner Hannah Mattison, 24, was dumbstruck when she first saw the painting in the college’s £3 million School of Art, Design and Media facility last Thursday.
She said: “I first saw it when I was cleaning an art room and it was stacked in a corner.
“I was offended but I didn’t say anything because it was in a closed-off area, but after they moved it to a public area I felt I had to say something.
“I was disgusted when I saw it up there.
“The head of art won’t say who did it because they are a student.
“He won’t take it down and says it is a piece of art and people will interpret it in different ways.
“I worry what effect it could have if a young person who’s being abused themselves saw it.
“They haven’t portrayed Savile as a nasty paedophile but as a kind of hero wearing a suit of armour.
“He is not a hero or icon – he’s a serial abuser of children and to show him as anything else is wrong.
“How would people feel if I painted a picture of Fred West and displayed that in a college?
“I’ve been told it’s art but it’s not.
“If it is was in an adult gallery it might be different, but not when it’s around children. It is morally wrong.”
The OFSTED-rated ‘Good’ college, which has around 6,000 full and part-time students across its four campuses, caters for students as young as 14.
The gallery – named the Wedge Gallery – is said to exhibit the work of ’professional artists and emerging designers.’
One time national hero Savile was exposed as the UK’s most prolific sexual predator after his death in 2011 aged 84.
Hundreds of victims have since come forward to claim he used his fame to prey on vulnerable youngsters.
One victim who Savile preyed upon at Duncroft Approved School for Girls in Staines said he had treated the children’s home like a “paedophile sweetshop”.
Last week it emerged police advised prosecutors not to pursue charges against Savile following a 2009 interview.