Art director cleared over goldfish in blenders exhibit

A museum director has been cleared of animal cruelty after a court ruled a display with goldfish in blenders that visitors could turn on was not cruel.

Peter Meyer, director of the Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding, Denmark, drew international notoriety in February 2000 after the exhibit was dubbed cruelty to animals.

The display's 10 blenders were plugged in and visitors were invited, if they wanted, to blend the fish. One person did and two goldfish died.

Animal rights activists complained and the blenders were unplugged, but the exhibit continued.

Danish police fined Meyer the equivalent of 200 for animal cruelty but when he refused to pay, the case went to court.

Judge Preben Bagger ruled Meyer didn't have to pay the fine because the fish were killed instantly and humanely.

During the two-day trial, experts including a zoologist and a representative of the blender manufacturer, Moulinex, said the fish probably died within a second after the blender started.

The installation was the work of Chilean-born Danish artist Marco Evaristti.

The temporary exhibit also included a nude picture of the artist with blackened eyes and a bazooka missile surrounded by tubes of lipstick.

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