Celebrated photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is making history in Cuba from beyond the grave by becoming the first homo-erotic artist to be featured in a full exhibition in Havana.

The communist country has frowned on homosexuality in the past, but rising tolerance over the past decade has led to a better understanding of gay themes.

Art experts believe this has prompted officials to allow the Mapplethorpe exhibition, SACRED AND PROFANE, to open in Old Havana.

Even officials in Mapplethorpe's native America have had problems with his exhibitions - in 1990, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its director were charged with obscenity for exhibiting his photographs.

The black-and-white images on display in Havana portray various female body parts and nude men.