Flat Earth: Ham horror

WE TOLD you about the rich bouquet that swamped Venice last year when an art work - the split carcasses of a cow and calf in glass tanks of preservative - by our fashionable young artist, Damien Hirst, began leaking. The asking price for these choice cuts of British meat was more than pounds 12,000.

We heard last week that there is something similarly rotten in the state of Denmark, the home of good bacon.

At Esbjerg six dead pigs have been put into glass cases for three months so that visitors can watch the carcasses decay, switching from subtle shades of pink, to blue, to grey, to black. The work is advertised as 'Rotting in Changing Colours'. The gallery said it had to instal a new air-purification system last week to cope with the smell.

Christian Lemmerz, the artist, said his dead pigs were an attempt to bring reality back into art. 'Short of passing the scene of a traffic accident, when does anybody ever meet death in our perfect society?'

One group who could tell him are the local farmers. Their union said Mr Lemmerz had no respect for animals - nor, for that matter, human beings.

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