Friday, 15 October 2010

Art Theft - UPDATE

An update on my post below: Rumoured last night, the Press Association has now confirmed that access to the exhibition is to be restricted to ‘look only’.

A vast carpet of more than 100 million porcelain "seeds" in the Tate Modern in London has been declared out of bounds to art lovers only two days after it opened because it poses a health threat.

Visitors to the gallery were initially allowed to walk on the imitation sunflower seeds, which cover 1,000 square metres of its Turbine Hall, but that has now changed.

A Tate spokeswoman said: "Although porcelain is very robust, the enthusiastic interaction of visitors has resulted in a greater than expected level of dust in the Turbine Hall. Tate has been advised that this dust could be damaging to health following repeated inhalation over a long period of time. In consequence, Tate, in consultation with the artist, has decided not to allow visitors to walk across the sculpture."

The Standard reports: Tate Modern has been forced to close the giant Turbine Hall sunflower seeds commission to public access because the surge of interest has created dangerous levels of dust.

The Telegraph has a short video here.

And the Guardian has a nice collection of ten stills of the installation being enjoyed by the public earlier this week, before it was made out of bounds.

It is a shame it hasn't quite worked as the artist and the Tate had wished. I can't see 2 million people, looking at it from the high level bridge, being particularly enthralled. I believe the Tate has shown great willingness to experiment and take risks with the Turbine Hall commissions - we have to allow them to occasionally fail.

Enormous credit is due to Unilever, their sponsors for this enterprise for the past 10 years.

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