Mormon Church-owned Brigham Young University has pulled four nudes from an exhibit of works by the renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin, including his famous "The Kiss."

"We have felt that the nature of those works are such that the viewer will be concentrating on them in a way that is not good for us," said Campbell Gray, director of the BYU Museum of Art.

The decision surprised the organizers of the traveling exhibit titled "The Hands of Rodin: A Tribute to B. Gerald Cantor." Cantor, who died last year, was a leading collector of the works of the 19th-century artist perhaps best known for his sculpture "The Thinker."

"We haven't had any other institutions that felt the need to not exhibit any pieces by Rodin," said Rachael Blackburn, curator of exhibits of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. But the foundation accepts "what they feel they need to do," she said.

Gray said museum and university officials discussed the issue for two months before deciding that the four works would be censored.

Rodin's sculpture "The Kiss" shows a man and woman, both nude, in an embrace. While considered one of Rodin's most powerful, and popular, works, Gray believes it would disrupt the exhibit and offend some viewers. Another nude sculpture pulled is "Saint John the Baptist Preaching," which is considered a depiction of his mortality. "Everyone knows the prophet is mortal," Gray said. "But this conception of prophet is made less than what we would regard as reverent or honorable."