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Fish Saved From Denmark Art Exhibit

February 15, 2000 GMT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Ten goldfish were swimming safely in their blender aquariums Tuesday after power to the controversial art exhibit was disconnected, Danish police said.

The display at the Trapholt Art Museum in western Denmark had let visitors decide whether to turn on 10 blenders, each containing a live goldfish and water.

Police ordered the power cut after two fish were killed at Friday’s opening and animal rights activists filed a complaint.

Authorities launched an investigation after five more fish were killed when the power was apparently left on over the weekend. The museum replaced the fish.


Deputy chief constable Birgit Nielsen said Tuesday that the blenders were disconnected from a power source Monday afternoon and it seemed the museum was following police orders. Museum director Peter Meyer still faced an undetermined fine for failing to do so immediately, she said.

Meyer welcomed the publicity Monday as the case made national headlines, saying the exhibit didn’t encourage people to blend the fish but addressed ethical questions about death. He was not at the museum Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

The museum in Kolding, 125 miles west of Copenhagen, is one of many smaller art exhibitors in the Nordic country. It usually draws about 80,000 people each year, but had 1,000 curious visitors over the weekend _ a very high off-season number, Meyer said.

Authorities also will investigate whether Meyer can be held responsible for breaking animal protection laws, in which case he and artist Marco Evaristti would face other fines, Nielsen said. Police also could charge the visitors who turned on the blenders if their identities could be established, she said.

``But so far we have no names, that’s why we at this point concentrate on the overall responsible, Peter Meyer,″ Nielsen said.

The display by Evaristti, a Danish artist, includes the blenders on a table, a nude picture of the artist with blackened eyes and a bazooka missile surrounded by tubes of lipstick.

Evaristti, who has not commented on the controversy, plans to take his work on tour to Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Spain over the next two years.