Dirty protest marks Tate's Turner winner

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The Independent Online
IT MAY be dung, but is it art? Ray Hutchins, an artist who launched a dramatic protest against this year's Turner Prize winner by dumping a wheelbarrow of cow dung on the steps of the Tate Gallery, clearly thought not.

Mr Hutchins delivered his protest after learning that the winner of this year's Turner Prize, Chris Ofili, had decorated his canvasses with elephant dung. "I've been waiting to do this for years," he shouted, shovelling the muck out onto the entrance of the Tate, in London, where Mr Ofili's work is being exhibited. "It's time somebody made a stand against the idiocy of modern art. The general public on the whole dislikes it. Dead sheep and cows are one thing, but the elephant dung was the final straw for me... A real artist who can paint should have won the Turner prize."

Mr Hutchins, 66, a professional illustrator of books, mugs and pottery, from Huntley, in Staffordshire, borrowed his materials from a neighbour's farm. But the effort of collecting the dung from the field landed him in hospital with a heart attack. His wife pleaded with him not to go to London - to no avail.

Mr Hutchins finally planted a placard in the excrement which read: "Modern art is a load of bullshit."

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