Wham, bam, no thank you ma’am! David Bowie photo used to flog bullets at DSEI arms fair

PUBLISHED: 13:14 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:07 18 September 2017

Fighter jet on display at DSEI (Picture: Alex Shaw)

Fighter jet on display at DSEI (Picture: Alex Shaw)

Alex Shaw

An iconic photo of David Bowie was used to sell weapons at the world’s largest arms fair in London.

Cheshire-based arms dealers Edgar Brothers placed an image of the late rock star next to the Red Arrows on a display stand at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) conference.

Around 1,600 exhibitors will compete for sales at the four-day event in the Docklands, whose guest list includes military delegations from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Pakistan.

The photo of the Heroes and Ashes to Ashes musician with a blue and red lightning bolt across his face was seen in an Instagram post taken in the UK Pavilion at the ExCeL exhibition centre.

The post, now deleted, shows the firearms and ammunition wholesaler’s 70th anniversary logo on the top left hand corner of the stand.

Edgar Brothers seventieth anniversary logo (Picture: Edgar Brothers seventieth anniversary logo (Picture:

Photographer Brian Duffy snapped the star as his alter-ego Aladdin Sane back in 1973.

A spokeswoman for the Duffy Archive confirmed the photo had not been approved and that the stand had been removed on their request.

“We are not in a position to comment just yet,” said Richard Farrimond, marketing manager at Edgar Brothers. “We’re actually still in conversations with the Duffy Archive in relation to the incident in question.”

Photo of David Bowie (circled, blue) visible on Edgar Brothers display stand in the UK Pavilion at DSEI. The arms wholesaler's 70th anniversary logo is circled in red (Picture: Darren Cullen) Photo of David Bowie (circled, blue) visible on Edgar Brothers display stand in the UK Pavilion at DSEI. The arms wholesaler's 70th anniversary logo is circled in red (Picture: Darren Cullen)


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