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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 12:58 GMT
Paris 'parrot art' creates flap
Paris town hall
The purchase has left some "as sick as a parrot"

There has been a heated debate among members of the Paris city council over the acquisition by the city authorities of an unusual work of modern art.

The living sculpture, which is due to be displayed in the city's modern art museum, has cost 210,000 euros (140,000).


The only point of view which has not been made public is that of the creature at the centre of the row

The living sculpture is called Don't Say I Didn't Tell You, by the noted Belgian artist Marcel Broodthers.

Dating from 1974, it features a live parrot in a cage, surrounded by two tiny palm trees and a cassette recording of the artist reading one of his poems.

The Paris town hall's decision to spend a large amount of public money on it has created an almighty flap.

Some right-wing members of the city council have argued it is far too much to pay for a work of art with a limited lifespan.

Parrots, they have pointed out, only live to be 90.

But the cultural representative of the Paris mayor is angry - sick as a parrot in fact.

Christophe Girard has said that attempts by elected officials to block the purchase of works of art would open the doors to fascism.

The Greens on the city council have objected not on financial grounds, but on those of animal rights.

The only point of view which has not been made public is that of the creature at the centre of the row.

It is said that the parrot is, unusually, not very talkative.

See also:

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