Tate Modern’s "Sunflower Seed" Exhibit by Ai Weiwei Closed to Visitors as Health Risk


LONDON (AP).- An art exhibition involving 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds has been closed to visitors because it is generating dust that is a potential health hazard, the Tate Modern gallery said Friday. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei filled a giant hall at the London gallery with a 1,000 sq. meter (10,000 sq. foot) carpet of the imitation seeds, hand-crafted by thousands of artisans in China over a two-year period. Visitors were invited to walk across the surface when the show opened earlier this week. But the gallery said Friday that the “enthusiastic interaction of visitors” was releasing a “greater than expected level” of ceramic dust. It wasn’t clear whether the seeds were breaking or simply being worn down. “Tate has been advised that this dust could be damaging to health following repeated inhalation over a long period of time,” the gallery said in a statement. “In consequence, Tate, in consultation with the artist, has