The singer owns a photograph of two naked young girls which was due to be part of an exhibition at the the Baltic gallery in Gateshead.
Northumbria Police were reportedly alerted by Baltic managers themselves, the day before five collections were due to be unveiled.
A statement on Elton John‘s website states, ‘“Klara and Edda belly-dancing” by Nan Goldin was seized by police from Gateshead’s Baltic Centre on September 20.”
It added, “Elton John is known as one of the world’s foremost collectors of photographic art and has several thousand photographs in his collection, including works by Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus and Ansel Adams.”
Artist Goldin, 54, who is well known for her shots of young, semi-clothed girls, was not available to comment.
It’s not the first time that Goldin has courted controversy with her images. In March 2001, police were called to the Saatchi Gallery after complaints about her photographs involving naked children.
A spokesman for Elton said the photograph had been exhibited around the world without objection.
The photograph is still being assessed by Northumbria Police and a gallery spokesman said no exhibitions were being removed as a result.