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Orvillecopter, the stuffed helicopter cat, sparks global outrage

June 05, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Artist Bart Jansen has sparked controversy with his flying helicopter cat Orville.
Artist Bart Jansen has sparked controversy with his flying helicopter… (Ade Johnson / AFP / Getty…)

Dutch artist Bart Jansen is under attack after images of his flying helicopter cat went viral on the Internet this week.

Jansen created the bizarre cat helicopter after his pet Orville was killed by a car.

According to media reports, Jansen kept Orville's body in a freezer for about six months, before taking him to a taxidermist and attaching a plastic propeller to each of his four paws. Then he put a remote control engine inside the stomach of the cat, and after a few false starts, the "Orvillecopter" achieved lift-off.

RELATED: A flying cat? Dutch artist turns dead feline into a helicopter

"Now he is flying with the birds," Jansen wrote in a description of a YouTube video showing the cat-copter's first flight. "The greatest goal a cat could ever reach!"

The artist debuted the unusual work at the KunstRai ArtFair in Amsterdam over the past weekend.

While images and video of the Orvillecopter have gone bonkers on the Internet, not everyone is laughing.

On Friday, anonymous animal rights activists wrote "Kill the animal killers" and "Shame" in graffiti letters on the side of the RAI convention center, which hosted the fair.

Now the Dutch Party for the Animals, a political party that runs on an animal rights platform, has announced that it will send a letter of complaint to the festival organizers, as well as to the RAI convention center. 

"Even though artist Bart Jansen loved his cat when it was still alive and cared so much for it that he turned it into art after it was run over by a car, people declare him the worst person in the country," said festival organizer Liesbeth Hemelrijk in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

Party for the Animals leader Johnas van Lammeren told the Dutch publication Parool.nl that he worries that Jansen's cat-copter could lead to even more disturbing works. "If you can do this with an animal now, what will you do tomorrow? Even more tricks with an animal in the name of art?"

"We have lots of comments from people who find this much too far to go," he added.

Jansen did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Our original story on the Orvillecopter also drew lots of responses, which ran the gamut, from deeply disturbed to amused to defensive.

"Absolutely disgusting to do that to what was a live animal who gave companionship," wrote dionkraft, who went on to suggest that Jansen should be thrown in a vat of manure when he dies. 

But WadsworthOnion wrote, "The thing is DEAD. The corpse is merely a container.  Get over it.  He owned the cat, it is something he wanted to do to express in regards to HIS cat.  Get over it."

And in msblack's opinion, turning your dead pet into a flying machine is "not anywhere near as sick as hunters diplaying [sic] trophy kills above their mantles."

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