British Museum explores historic secrets of gay love

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Guide to erotic LGBT objects, supported by actor Simon Russell Beale and artist Maggi Hambling, forms part of Pride festival

There is a sculpture of the beautiful face of Antinous, at whose death Emperor Hadrian “wept like a woman”; a battered copper coin showing the poet Sappho, whose surviving fragments of erotic poetry were so intense that the Victorians called all women who loved women after her native Lesbos; and a 20-year-old tin badge demanding, “how dare you presume I’m heterosexual”.

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The objects are among those detailed in a new guide to be launched this month by the British Museum, tracing a history often hidden within one of the world’s great collections.

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Photo : Eurovision – 2013 Gay kiss – SVT

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