On Saturday 15 May, the Tate Modern gallery was forced to close down part of its 10th anniversary exhibition due to dozens of dead fish and oil-soaked birds attached to huge black balloons let loose in the Turbine Hall.
Art activists from the group Liberate Tate released the fish and birds, which filled the ceiling of the Turbine Hall. Tate staff could not remove them all before the evening celebrations, which meant some of the rotting fish remained reminding visitors of BP’s oil spill, which amounts to around 5,000 barrels of oil a day, according to official estimates. However, some scientists say the spill could be as much as 100,000 barrels a day and BP claims there is no way to accurately measure the spill.
Liberate Tate is a growing network of people demanding that the Tate drops its sponsorship deal with BP. They distributed a communiqué throughout the 10th anniversary events promising further actions to free art from oil.