Tate Gallery Closes Sunflower-Seed Artwork on Health Concerns

Tate Modern banned visitors from walking through an artwork of more than 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds because it might be hazardous to health.

“We have been advised that the interaction of visitors with the sculpture can cause dust which could be damaging to health following repeated inhalation over a long period of time,” the gallery said today in a statement on its website. “Tate, in consultation with the artist, has decided not to allow members of the public to walk across the sculpture.”

“Sunflower Seeds” by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, 53, opened on Oct. 12. It is the latest temporary installation in the vast industrial space of the Turbine Hall of the gallery, on the south bank of the River Thames in London.

Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted in workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. The sculpture may now only be viewed from the Turbine Hall bridge.

To contact the writer on this story: Richard Vines in London at rvines@bloomberg.net or Richardvines on http://twitter.com/home.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.