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After posting Pretty in pink? Glen Bass brought to my attention that someone is dyeing pigeons in Venice, Italy, as part of a project to increase public appreciation of pigeons. I looked into this and found the below article about it.

Photos from: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/23293/colorful-pigeons-amongst-a-flock-of-grey-at-the-venice-biennale.html

As well as it happening in Italy, they also painted pigeons in Copenhagen, Denmark. Please see Julian Charriere’s pigeon project: Some pigeons are more equal than others

This website also has lots of photos of the dyed pigeons (thank you, Glen, for bringing this to my attention!): Colorful pigeons amongst a flock of grey at the Venice Biennale

Photos from: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/23293/colorful-pigeons-amongst-a-flock-of-grey-at-the-venice-biennale.html

Questions are asked whether this is animal cruelty or not. And does the pink pigeon found in London mean that someone has started a similar project here in the UK?

Painted pigeons of St Mark’s square put Venice Biennale critics in a flap

Project to airbrush famous pigeons in garish, vibrant colours for architecture exhibition criticised by animal rights campaigners

  • John Hooper in Rome – guardian.co.uk, Monday 27 August 2012
Painted pigeons in Venice

Swiss artist Julian Charrière says by painting the pigeons of St Mark’s square, Venice, they will become ‘better regarded’. Photograph: Rex Features

As might be expected of the world’s most filmed, photographed and conspicuously indulged birds, the pigeons of St Mark’s square in Venice are capricious. If it takes their fancy, they will foul the top of your head, dig their claws into your scalp and mob the very tourists who feed them. But one thing that could be relied upon was that the pigeons of Venice were grey. Until now.In recent days, visitors to the city have been surprised to see pigeons sporting plumages that would do credit to a tropical parrot: green and yellow pigeons; pigeons whose feathers radiate electric blue or strident vermillion; even pigeons that seem to be robed in imperial purple.

Finding and filming them became a local pastime when it was revealed on Monday the coloured birds were the work of artists – the Swiss artist, Julian Charrière, and German artist, Julius von Bismarck – part of a performance for the architecture Biennale.

But while many tourists and locals were intrigued, questions were soon being raised about the ethics of the project. “Are works of art justified as such even when they involve other, non-consenting living beings?”, asked Miriam Leto on the www.artsblog.it website. It was not long before an answer was offered by another blogger on www.ecoblog.it.

“There is nothing to laugh about.” wrote “Marina”. “On the contrary, an initiative with so little respect for defenceless animals is to be condemned.”

The daily Corriere della Sera quoted Charrière as saying the project was “without any danger to the animals”. He said his aim was to give a recognisable personality to birds that were routinely harassed and reviled. “That way, pigeons will be better regarded.”

Animal defence activists are unlikely, however, to be comforted by the artist’s description on his website of the process used in a similar exercise in Copenhagen. That involved a “bird trap with a conveyor belt mechanism” where the “pigeon get [sic] automatically airbrushed in different colours. The machine was installed for a week on a roof in Copenhagen.”

The coloured pigeons are the latest in a series used in Biennales that has prompted controversy. At last year’s art Biennale, the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan exhibited a flock – in original hues – which had been embalmed.

Article from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/aug/27/venice-biennale-painted-pigeons-st-marks