herald

Monday 18 December 2017

IMMA art work that contained asbestos must be destoryed

IMMA installation
A copy of an installation called Nas Quebradas by the Brazilian deceased artist Helio Oiticica had been on show at the museum since July.
IMMA installation A copy of an installation called Nas Quebradas by the Brazilian deceased artist Helio Oiticica had been on show at the museum since July.

THE Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) has been forced to send an interactive art installation for destruction, after it was found to contain the dangerous carcinogenic material asbestos.

The piece, a copy of an installation called Nas Quebradas by the Brazilian deceased artist Helio Oiticica had been on show at the museum since July.

Oiticica died in 1980 and not much of his work has survived. The piece on show was a gallery copy of the original design.

IMMA said that the asbestos discovery was made after an American museum postponed a showing of the work and asked for the piece to be destroyed.

The original Nas Quebradas was made in the 1960s and contained asbestos.

The copy was made in Portugal in 2012 and a spokesperson said the museum had been given assurances that it did not contain the substance.

However, before the destruction was carried out, the head technician at the museum raised concerns.

The installation was tested and on Sunday, asbestos was found to be present in the concrete. An outside consultant has been engaged to carry out an independent report on the matter.

Members of the public were able to walk around in the installation as "participants."

Risk

"Nas Quebradas guides the participant on a gravel path through an architectural structure made of wood, brick, and yellow panels with a jute roof," according to its description.

IMMA told the Herald that initial reports found that the asbestos risk was "very low".

The installation will be taken to Germany for destruction while the gallery east wing was closed.

hnews@herald.ie

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