March 29, 2006 08:05 AM

A controversial sculpture of Britney Spears – naked, life-sized and crouching as she is giving birth on a bearskin rug – is due to go on display April 7 at Brooklyn’s Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery as part of a pro-life exhibition.

“I admire her. This is an idealized figure,” the Connecticut-based artist, Daniel Edwards, tells the Associated Press – also admitting that he’s never met or even spoken to his 24-year-old subject.

“Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself – seductively,” says Edwards. “Suddenly, she’s a mom.”

The singer’s publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, did not respond to a request for comment from AP.

A press release from the gallery states that the art object “celebrates the recent birth of Spears’s baby boy, Sean, and applauds her decision of placing family before career.” The planned exhibit will also include anti-abortion materials provided by the Manhattan Right To Life Committee.

Gallery co-owner David Kesting confirmed that calls of protest have come in from as far away as “Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter. Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument.”

Kesting added that extra security guards would be hired for the two weeks the sculpture is on display. Admission to the gallery will be free.

In other Spears news, three ex-members of the singer’s security team, Lonnie D. Jones, Randy Jones and Silas Dukes, filed suit against two of the pop star’s companies on Tuesday. The suit claims that the men worked 12- to 16-hour days without overtime and were fired last November without receiving final paychecks.

Seeking unspecified damages, the trio allege that, in violation of labor laws, they were paid only a straight salary of $2,400-$3,350 a week without overtime pay despite sometimes being on call 24 hours a day.

Spears’s rep couldn’t be reached for comment on the suit.

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