Cambridgeshire

Cambridge art project's 100,000 pennies all taken in a day

Quayside Fountain Image copyright In Your Way
Image caption The taking of the coins, worth £1,000, is a "provocative outcome" to the experiment, said its artistic director

An art installation made up of £1,000 worth of penny coins left in a disused fountain disappeared in just over one day.

The 100,000 pennies were placed in the fountain at Quayside in Cambridge at 08:00 BST on Saturday and were due to be left for 48 hours.

All of the coins were gone by 09:00 BST on Sunday, but the In Your Way project is not treating it as theft.

Artistic director Daniel Pitt said it was "a provocative outcome".

The work, which used money from an Arts Council England lottery grant, was one of five pieces staged across the city over the weekend.

Image copyright In Your Way
Image caption The pennies were brought to the fountain in bags on Saturday morning
Image caption The fountain was empty by Sunday morning

Cambridge-based artist Anna Brownsted said her fountain piece "was an invitation to respond, a provocation".

"It was an experiment in the dynamics of human behaviour and our complex reactions to heightened situations," she said.

Had any money been left over at the end of the project, it would have been given to a local homeless charity.

Mr Pitt added: "We do not consider the removal of the money to be a theft as the money was there for people to interact with as they saw fit as part of this art project.

"The experiment had a provocative outcome, it opened conversations about human nature and the bystander effect."

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