PITTSBURGH -- Artist Dale Chihuly must be thinking his exhibition of glass sculptures at Phipps Conservatory is snake-bit.
First, there were the many fires that were ignited by concentrated beams of sunlight refracted through Chihuly’s masterpieces, a story that was reported only by this news source (Click Here). That problem worked itself out when Pittsburgh’s usual cloudy weather returned after a freakish period of sunshine.
The latest fiasco started innocently enough. Phipps Director of Glass, Atilla Khan, wanted to attract glass aficionados from some of the outlying rural counties so he declared last Saturday “Bring your Bull to Phipps Day” and offered free admission to any youngster accompanied by an adult male bovine. Bull moose and elk were also acceptable.
“Allegheny County doesn’t have anything like a county fair anymore,” Khan explained, “I figure what the hell - this [event] would be fun.”
The event was far from fun. Just ask 10-year old Billy Ambrose from Masontown, Fayette County. No sooner had he entered Phipps with his prize bull, Peter Ustinov, that the trouble started. It turned out that "PU," as Billy calls him, is allergic to some of the plants in Phipps and began to sneeze.
“There’s not a lot of room in there for a bull to sneeze,” Billy’s mother Anna described, “so, PU just ran amok."
PU flattened one sculpture after another, with glass flying everywhere. “It was like a bull in a china shop,” one witness observed. Hundreds of people were cut.
“There was blood, blood every,” Billy related between sobs.
It took doctors at Mercy Hospital several hours to patch up all of the injured. Thirty-eight people remain hospitalized.
Khan said Phipps will have counselors available for the injured and plans to make it up to them with a special “Lacerations Day” over the Labor Day Weekend.