It’s not just the Ninja kind of turtles that are making headlines this weekend. An art exhibit featuring three tortoises with iPads attached to their shells are also causing a stir.
The installation, called “Moving Ghost Towns,” opened this past weekend at the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, and is the brain child of conceptual artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.
Despite calls from animal activists, including an online petition demanding the museum to remove the iPads from the tortoise shells due to “animal abuse” and relocate the tortoises to an animal sanctuary, the museum is standing by the exhibit.
Last Wednesday, a museum spokeswoman released a statement ascertaining the tortoises were being well cared for and monitored my experts.
“The three are being closely monitored, cared for, checked by a local veterinarian at regular intervals, and are being exhibited in consultation with the Turtle Conservancy,” spokeswoman Sara Fitzmaurice said.
Time Magazine reports that the exhibit features three African tortoises (named Big Bertha, Gracie Pink Star and Whale Wanderer), with iPads strapped to their shells that flash images of Colorado’s ghost towns.
According to Fitzmaurice and the museum the iPads are attached to the shells using a “noninvasive” epoxy substance that “removes easily and cleanly without damaging the tortoise’s shell.”
Despite the museum’s reassurance that the tortoises are not being harmed, the petition, which asks, “Since when is animal abuse art,” has over 5,000 signatures at the time of this publication. With so many types of tortoises at risk for being endangered or extinct, it’s not surprising how serious animal activists are taking this cause.
The exhibit is scheduled to run until Oct. 5.