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Guggenheim Museum in NYC yanks 3 pieces after PETA protest

NEW YORK -- The Guggenheim Museum is pulling some works featuring live animals from an exhibit following days of protests, CBS New York reports.

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said they are pleased the museum decided to pull the three pieces -- the most controversial being a video of dogs tethered to wooden treadmills trying to get at each other, according to CBS New York.

The Associated Press writes that the video, "Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other," is a recording of a 2003 Beijing art piece that had four pairs of American pit bulls on opposing treadmills charging at each other but not touching.

"Obviously these dogs who are used for this video are suffering from great stress," PETA spokesperson Moira Colley said. "Animals are not ours to use or abuse for entertainment. And this specifically, all through these exhibits, were extremely damaging."

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CBS News partner BBC News reports that the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals issued a statement as well objecting to the "cruel manipulation of animals."

"Such treadmills are typical of brutal dog fighting training regimens, and the mere positioning of animals to face each other and encourage aggression often meets the definition of illegal dog fighting in most states," the statement read.

The Guggenheim said the exhibit was supposed to encourage viewers to think about the social conditions of globalization, but explicit and repeated threats of violence forced it to pull the pieces.

In a statement posted online, the museum also removed works titled "Theater of the World", "A Case Study of Transference" which were to be included in its upcoming exhibition in October.

"Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary," the statement read. "As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim."

BBC News writes that the museum defended the exhibit last week as "an intentionally challenging and provocative artwork."

petition against Guggenheim on garnered more than 660,000 supporters at last check.  

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