It may have a reputation as the city of the dirty weekend but an erotic boutique’s burlesque mural has been branded too raunchy for Brighton’s liberal streets.

Artwork of nipple tassel-clad women has adorned the walls of the recently rebranded She Said Emporium since last week.

But yesterday the women were made to cover up – after complaints to the shop’s owner that it was offensive.

Owner Nic Ramsey said she was forced to paint over the artwork after two women complained.

A painting of Laura Nixon, a Brighton-based Marilyn Monroe look alike, with nipple tassels and a multicoloured fan has adorned the wall for years.

So has an animal mural of the Garden of Eden with insects “bonking” and bugs having threesomes.

Ms Ramsey said: “It’s crazy – not least because we have had a virtually identical photo of our fan girl for nearly six years.

“It breaks my heart and for the artist Req to have to cover up his work is horrible.”

About 20 women donned nipple tassels to protest against the loss of the mural before it was painted over yesterday.

Ms Ramsey added: “If it was a canvas or we hung a picture it would be a piece of art. They are sexy images but there is no nudity on show.

“We made sure there were no nipples showing or anything like that.

“Brighton is a fantastic, liberal city. I wouldn’t mind if I hadn’t had a picture on the same place for five years.

“I can wear nipple tassels and walk down the street and no one would be offended.”

The new painting was part of Tickles’ rebranding as part of the She Said Emporium.

Vanessa Austin Locke, from the business, said the new store would be “more playful” than the other three shops in the chain in Ship Street Gardens.

She added: “We’re just expanding since the success of 50 Shades of Grey. Everyone wants to explore their sexuality a bit more. It’s a real revolution.”