A conceptual artist has attached iPads to the shells of three tortoises in the name of, well, art. Cai Guo-Qiang's exhibit, called "Moving Ghost Towns," is slated to start Saturday for the grand opening of the Aspen Art Museum's new building and run through October 5. The three African tortoises -- delightfully named Big Bertha, Gracie Pink Star and Whale Wanderer -- will mill about in a garden as the iPads play footage of local ghost towns.
But as of Friday morning, about 3,500 people had signed a Change.org petition that terms the exhibit "animal abuse," saying the tortoises' shells are "sensitive to the slightest impact." Angry commenters have been peppering the Aspen Art Museum's Facebook page in protest as well. The Aspen Art Museum posted a lengthy response to the outcry via Facebook, saying it is "sensitive to concerns" for the tortoises. The museum also reiterated information it posted on its own website about the exhibit, pointing out that it worked closely with both a veterinarian and the Turtle Conservancy group on the setup and the care of the animals.
-- Julianne Pepitone
First published August 8 2014, 8:33 AM