A Cambridge college has taken down an artwork by a 17th century Flemish artist from a wall in its dining hall following complaints from students who were offended by images of dead animals pictured in it. As the Daily Mail reports, Hughes Hall removed the piece from Frans Snyders’ workshop, a copy of the Fowl Market, borrowed from Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. It pictured a variety of dead animals, ranging from a boar and deer to hens and other birds, hanging on hooks.
The outlet cites a source close to the museum as saying that the college intended to demonstrate “sensitivity” to people who “do not enjoy eating meat” and that there was “no agitated situation”. As the insiders point out, the school realised that the 17th century artwork was not “the most appropriate” piece for the dining hall.
The Flow Market, sent to the museum for conservation treatment in 2018, is said to be a part of an exhibition dedicated to the art of food.
“Some diners felt unable to eat because it was on the wall. People who don’t eat meat found it slightly repulsive. They asked for it to come down. This exhibition makes the point that the debate about vegetarianism, about veganism, is nothing new. It dates back to the 1500s”, the museum told The Daily Telegraph.